European shares erase gains on weak U.S. data

LONDON Fri Dec 7, 2012 10:40am EST

LONDON Dec 7 (Reuters) - European shares erased their earlier gains to turn negative on Friday, in choppy trade, as weak U.S. consumer sentiment data weighed on sentiment.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index was down by 0.1 percent at 1,131.21 points.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell by 0.3 percent to 2,596.43 points.

The STOXX 600 telecoms index was the worst-performing European equity sector, declining by 0.6 percent as Deutsche Telekom fell 2.7 percent after cutting its dividend.

"My preference is to the downside," said XBZ European equity options broker Mike Turner, citing uncertainty over the outcome of U.S. budget talks as a potential drag on markets in coming weeks.

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