(ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report for more details) Updates prices)
* FTSEurofirst 300 edges up in choppy trade
* Greek stock market down almost 3 pct
* Oils, utilities top sectoral gainers
* Munich Re drops after warning
By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, April 27 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Wednesday helped by gains among utilities and energy stocks, while Greek equities lost ground after euro zone officials delayed a meeting on the country’s bailout.
Greece’s benchmark ATG equity index fell 2.8 percent, making it the worst-performing market in the region.
The Athens market fell after the Eurogroup said late on Tuesday that euro zone finance ministers would not meet on Thursday and needed more time to discuss two sets of Greek reforms that would unlock new loans.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit a three-month high last week, was up 0.3 percent by 1409 GMT.
The oil and gas index rose 2.3 percent, making it the biggest sectoral gainer, as crude oil prices hit their highest level for the year, driven by a falling dollar and evidence of declining U.S. supply.
Utilities were also firmer with Germany’s E.ON, RWE up 4.7 percent and 7.9 percent respectively, reversing initial weakness after news that German utilities will be asked to pay 23.3 billion euros to cover the costs of nuclear waste storage. Traders in Frankfurt said that amount was better than some had feared.
France’s EDF rose 8 percent on news the French government had committed to unilaterally set a carbon price floor for electricity producers in a move analysts said would help EDF make more profits.
“This could allow EDF to get more profitable, as electricity prices should go up to reflect the carbon price”, said Xavier Caroen, analyst at Bryan Garnier.
Munich Re fell 3.5 percent after it warned that it expects to report a sharp drop in profits for the first three months of 2016 and its full-year target was now looking “ambitious”
Technology stock AMS also lost ground after Apple posted its first-ever decline in iPhone sales and its first revenue drop in 13 years.
German sportswear group Adidas surged 8.6 percent after hiking its guidance for 2016 as it reported a 35 percent jump in first-quarter operating profit.
Today’s European research round-up
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Tom Heneghan)