European shares fall on growth gloom, Spain; Ifo eyed
* FTSEurofirst down 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.5 pct * Growth concerns weigh on cyclical stocks * Banks fall as Spain hesitates over bailout request By Francesco Canepa LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - European shares fell slightly on Monday, with investors refocusing on the gloomy economic outlook and Spain's unresolved debt crisis as euphoria over global monetary stimulus efforts faded. Cyclical stocks led a selloff on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was down 0.2 percent at 1,114.60 points by 0703 GMT, giving away most gains made in the previous session on speculation Spain was moving closer to asking for international financial support. The market stayed within its recent trading range as it awaited Germany's Ifo business climate index at 0800 GMT, which might serve as a catalyst for intraday moves as the latest sign of how badly Europe's debt crisis is affecting its largest economy. Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Saturday the country would not rush to seek a bailout that many investors believe is close to inevitable. Euro zone banks shed 0.6 percent, with Spain's Bankia and Banco De Sabadell the top fallers at 1.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. In a sign of investor reluctance to add to a recent rally fuelled by central bank interventions, the FTSEurofirst 300 stopped short new 14-month highs on Friday and trimmed gains in late trade to end broadly flat for the week, which had been marked by soft data from Europe and China. The index has thus far failed to break above its July 2011 high of 1,130. "(The sideways market is set to continue) most likely until we get more information on the Spanish issue," said Ishaq Siddiqi, a strategist at ETX Capital, citing structural reforms expected from Madrid on Thursday. "The liquidity rally looks like it's over and global growth worries are back on the agenda. It's a very light day on the whole so it's difficult to say today is going to be the day we see a change in price action." He flagged the Ifo index, which is expected to show business morale edging up in September while the number of people out of work likely rose as economic growth slows, according to a Reuters poll. The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index, down 0.5 percent at 2,565.59, has risen nearly 20 percent since late July, boosted by the prospect of interventions by the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve to shore up debt markets and the economy. Charts on the index December futures, down 0.2 percent at 2,557 points, suggested profit taking may ensue if the index breaks below its mid-September low. "On a break of 2,523 we'd look for a pullback," technical analysis firm Futures Techs said in a note. "There are plenty of things pointing towards this being the next tradeable move (and an early September low of) 2,425 is the next bold support to target."
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