European shares drift lower ahead of German data

LONDON Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:53am EST

LONDON Nov 23 (Reuters) - European shares drifted lower on Friday, retreating after four straight days of gains, with traders citing some nerves ahead of German economic data as an excuse to lock in profits.

German business morale probably sank in November, data is set to show at 0900 GMT, as Europe's largest economy gets dragged deeper into the euro zone crisis.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was off 0.2 percent at 1,101.35 by 0850 GMT.

After nearly an hour of trade, volume on the index stood at just 6 percent of its 90-day daily average, with market activity expected to remain relatively light due to the half-day closure of U.S. markets post Thanksgiving.

"I think a little bit of profit-taking is to be expected," Angus Campbell, Head of Market Analysis at Capital Spreads, said.

"We've had a good move off the lows this week - we haven't really had a down day... you've only got to get a sudden bout of selling to force things down a bit more than they would normally be in low volumes." (Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Toni Vorobyova)

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