* FTSEurofirst 300 closes down 0.5 pct
* Index snaps monthly winning streak
* Stein comments buck trend of supportive Fed comments
* Tech weaker, led lower by Nokia on Blackberry
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, June 28 European share prices fell on
Friday to register the first quarterly loss in a year and first
monthly loss since May last year, as investors worried about
when central banks would stop pumping money into the markets.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index reversed
early gains to close 0.5 percent lower at 1,152.17 points on
Friday, a 5.3 percent drop for the month, hit particularly hard
last week after the U.S. Federal Reserve laid out a possible
timetable for turning down the taps on its $85 billion-a-month
Concerns over the programme were reignited on Friday by Fed
official Jeremy Stein, who said the central bank should take a
long-term view that the labour market is improving when it meets
in September even if jobs data disappoints, perhaps bolstering
the case for withdrawing some of the monetary stimulus by
"Stein spoke very hawkishly ... and since that we've seen
the market has dropped off," Mark Foulds, sales trader at ETX
"People do still see value, but the problem is that so much
of it is still dependent on talk over whether the Fed will
continue with its stimulus or slow it imminently."
The FTSEurofirst managed its first weekly gain in six weeks
and its best weekly performance since mid-April, after a week
which has seen several Fed officials play down the idea that it
might be about to tread on the monetary brakes.
However Stein's comments bucked that trend, and a bag of
mixed economic data from the United States kept trade choppy and
the picture for the future of the so-called quantitative easing
programme far from clear.
The volatility of the session was exacerbated by thin
volumes as investors were reluctant to take firm positions ahead
of the opening of a new quarter.
"We are at the end of a week, month, quarter and half. So
here may be an element of ... holding off until next week which
sees what is likely the most important piece of US data to
affect both sentiment on QE3 (quantitative easing) as well as
Fed policy - US Non-Farm Payrolls and Unemployment," Mike van
Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said in a note.
The Stoxx Europe 600 technology sector index led
sectoral fallers on Friday, down 1.5 percent, led lower by a 3.8
percent drop in Nokia.
The Finnish phone maker weakened in afternoon trade, with
traders citing a read-across from Research in Motion.
Shares in the maker of Blackberry phones plunged 27 percent
after reporting an unexpected quarterly operating loss.