Getinge slumps as U.S. worries push down European shares

Tue Oct 8, 2013 6:38am EDT

* FTSEurofirst down 0.5 pct, Euro STOXX 50 falls 0.4 pct

* Getinge slumps after profit warning

* Most investors still expect eventual U.S. budget/debt deal

* Equity pullback is buying opportunity -Bordier CEO

* MB Capital backs running "short" positions

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Tuesday, with medical technology group Getinge slumping after a profit warning, as the United States' budget stalemate weighed on stock markets.

Even though most investors still expected an eventual deal to be reached on the U.S. budget and its debt ceiling, many were prepared to "short" the market, or bet on the market falling, until the deadline for resolving the standoff nears.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell for the fourth time in five sessions, declining by 0.5 percent to 1,234.72 points. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also fell 0.4 percent to 2,912.53 points.

Getinge was the worst performer on the FTSEurofirst, dropping 9.4 percent after it became the latest European company to warn on profits, following the likes of consumer goods group Unilever and cruise operator Carnival

The profit warnings have weighed on stock markets this month, with analysts having trimmed 2013 earnings estimates for the pan-European STOXX 600 index by 3 percent since the start of the third quarter. ()

Markets have also come back down from multi-year highs after the U.S. government had to partially shut down this month due to disagreement among politicians over the country's budget.

The U.S. budget standoff has led to concerns about the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt ceiling, which Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said the government will hit no later than Oct. 17.

The FTSEurofirst 300 remains up 9 percent since the start of 2013 while the Euro STOXX 50 is up 10 percent, but the U.S stalemate has pushed those indexes off a 5-year high for the FTSEurofirst 300 and a 2-year high on the Euro STOXX 50 reached in late September.

"There's the opportunity to be running the market 'short', and as we approach the October deadline and if there's profits on the table, I'd be looking to bank them," said MB Capital trading director Marcus Bullus.

Nevertheless, most investors still expect a deal to be reached eventually, and U.S. President Barack Obama said he would accept a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing authority to avoid a default.

Michel Juvet, chief investment officer at Swiss bank Bordier, said he would use the stock market pullback caused by the U.S. situation to buy up stocks.

"I see it as a buying opportunity," he said.

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