* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.8 pct
* Germany's ZEW signals sharp slide in investor morale
* LVMH's sales figures hurt luxury shares
* Earnings expectations still too high -Natixis's Peloille
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, April 16 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
Shares in the world's biggest luxury goods maker sank 3.5
percent to a five-month low, making them the biggest faller
among European blue-chip stocks, while rivals PPR,
Burberry and Richemont lost 1.3-2.8 percent.
At 1051 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 0.7 percent at 1,166.07 points, after
losing 1.5 percent in the past two sessions.
The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index
slid 0.8 percent to 2,605.87 points, falling towards a strong
support level at around 2,590, representing a positive trendline
started last June.
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.
Jitters about global economic growth were heightened on
Tuesday by Germany's ZEW economic sentiment survey, which
dropped sharply in April, signalling that the recent flare-up of
the euro zone crisis was hitting Europe's largest economy.
"The recent pull-back in stocks is not bringing any entry
points, because there's just no visibility. Even for the United
States on which we've been more positive, the macro momentum is
losing steam," Natixis investment strategist Benoit Peloille
"Today's ZEW highlights the fact that there's nothing to
expect from Europe this year, and earnings forecasts for the
region are still too optimistic. We think that profits will be
down 4.5 percent on the year."
Corporate earnings in Europe are expected to grow by 6.3
percent in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Peloille said the abundant liquidity from central banks
around the world has been preventing a sharper pull-back in
stocks so far.
"It's a big support, although not enough to offset the bleak
fundamentals. The situation for Europe shouldn't change much
before September when we will have elections in Germany and
probably a new vote in Italy."
Around Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index was down 0.6
percent, Germany's DAX index down 0.7 percent, and
France's CAC 40 lower by 0.7 percent.
Bucking the negative trend, the basic resources sector
rebounded following a 6.5 percent drop in two sessions,
recovering along with a number of metal prices such as copper
. Randgold added 5.3 percent and Fresnillo
climbed 4 percent, although traders warned the
technical rebound was fuelled by short covering.
Despite the day's rebound, the basic resources sector is
still down 17.4 percent in 2013, by far the worst performance
among European sectors, dragged by a sharp drop in commodity
prices in recent weeks.
"If you look at the 'glass half full', this drop in
commodities certainly reflects worries about global growth, but
at some point this will boost corporate profit margins of
companies using commodities, and should also help consumer
spending," Barclays France director Franklin Pichard said.