European shares turn negative after U.S. data

Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:43am EDT

(Adds news on Morgan Stanley results)

LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - European shares turned lower on Thursday, led by financials, as yet more weak U.S. data heightened growth concerns and left a leading index on course to chalk up a fifth straight day of losses.

At 1443 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,146.74 points. U.S. indexes were even worse off, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.4 percent.

The rate of growth in factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region unexpectedly contracted in April, a survey showed on Thursday, adding to a batch of recent soft data from the world's biggest economy.

Banks led sectoral fallers across the region, down 1 percent, with several traders citing results from leading U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley, down 4.5 percent, as a trigger.

Among the worst hit among the European sector was French lender Societe Generale, down 4 percent. (Reporting by Simon Jessop and David Brett; editing by Alistair Smout)

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