LONDON, Sept 29 European shares fell to a
three-week closing low on Wednesday, with Hennes & Mauritz
(HMb.ST) leading retailers lower after it posted a weak
quarterly profit margin, and as heavyweight banks also fell.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top
shares provisionally closed 0.5 percent lower at 1,065.20 points
in the third straight session of losses.
"Markets are pausing for breath after rallying so strongly
over the last few weeks. If U.S. GDP data tomorrow is weak, we
could see a situation where that could be interpreted as good
news because it increases the likelihood of more quantitative
easing," said James Hughes, strategist at CMC Markets.
H&M shed 6.5 percent after its profit margins weakened and
as concerns grew over the prospect of more cost pressures in
coming months [ID:nLDE68R0V0]. The STOXX Europe 600 retail index
.SXRP shed 1.4 percent.
Helping limit further losses, Beiersdorf (BEIG.DE) rose more
than 10 percent, before paring gains, after Procter & Gamble's
(PG.N) chief executive was quoted as saying he was interested in
buying the maker of Nivea skin cream. The German firm, however,
said it was not aware of P&G's interest. [ID:nLDE68S1G9]
(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal)