European shares extend losing streak; LVMH sinks

Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:44am EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.7 pct

* Germany's ZEW signals sharp slide in investor morale

* LVMH's sales figures hurt luxury shares

* Good opportunities seen for short sellers

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) - European shares fell for the third straight day on Tuesday due to concerns about global growth, with Louis Vuitton owner LVMH a high profile loser after poor sales figures from its fashion and leather goods business.

At 0928 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.7 percent at 1,166.67 points, after losing 1.5 percent in the past two sessions.

Losses in Europe mirrored a sell-off on Wall Street on Monday, where the S&P 500 fell 2.3 percent on the back of worse than expected growth numbers from China and the shock of two bomb explosions at the Boston marathon.

The jitters about global economic growth were heightened on Tuesday by Germany's ZEW economic sentiment survey, which dropped sharply in April in a sign that the recent flare-up of the euro zone crisis was hitting Europe's largest economy.

The Mannheim-based ZEW think tank said its monthly poll of economic sentiment fell to 36.3 points from 48.5 in March, well below the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of 38 economists for a reading of 42.0.

Shares in LVMH sank 3.5 percent to a five-month low, knocked lower by lower-than-expected sales from its fashion and leather unit. The poor results weighed on the luxury sector, with PPR down 2.6 percent, Burberry down 1.8 percent and Richemont down 1.8 percent.

Overall losses on Tuesday were limited, however, as the basic resources sector recovered from a 6.5 percent drop in two sessions, rebounding along with a number of metal prices such as copper. Lonmin was up 4.2 percent and Eurasian up 4 percent.

TradingSat analyst Alexandre Tixier warned the rebound in a number of stocks on Tuesday could be just a short-lived technical bounce.

"We're looking for entry points, but not entry points to buy, entry points to sell. This is a good market for short sellers. The strategy here is to wait for a technical rebound and go short again."

Around Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index was down 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX index down 0.6 percent, and France's CAC 40 lower by 0.7 percent. The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.5 percent at 2,610.32 points.

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