LONDON Jan 31 A leading pan-European stock index fell on Thursday, hit by drops in brewing group AB Inbev and oil major Shell, and some expected further weakness in the near term.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed down 0.2 percent at 1,168.35 points, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.8 percent to 2,710.04 points.
AB Inbev slumped 7.6 percent to take the most points off the broader index after the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit seeking to stop it from a full takeover of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.
Royal Dutch Shell also retreated by roughly 3 percent after its fourth-quarter results significantly undershot expectations.
Rupert Baker, who handles European equity sales at Mirabaud Securities, said there could be a near-term pull back on European equity markets but he expected an eventual recovery.
"The market has had a strong run and it's now topping out a bit. But there is still a bullish underbelly which has not been derailed yet," he said.