European shares hit 1-wk closing low in late sell-off

LONDON Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:37am EST

LONDON Jan 14 (Reuters) - European equities ended at their lowest in nearly a week on Monday, with an early sell-off in U.S. shares on concerns over demand for Apple's iPhone 5 prompting some investors to take profits on recent strong stock gains in Europe.

"European equities lost their early lustre, impacted by the Wall Street and offsetting some low level M&A activity in Europe," Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of private client research at Charles Stanley, said.

"It appears that the 'risk on', 'buy cyclicals and financials' rally is running its course now. Instead, with the valuation gap narrowing, it's time to look at quality again."

The FTSEurofirst 300 fell for a third straight session to provisionally close 0.3 percent lower at 1,160.42 points, while the euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.1 percent at 2,716.5, with its relative strength index at 68, suggesting near-overbought conditions.

Italy's FTSE MIB index fell 0.6 percent on uncertain political situation in the debt-stricken country.

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