* FTSEurofirst 300 down 1.8 pct, loses 3.4 pct in week
* High-beta banking stocks also hit
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, April 11 European stocks sank on Friday,
extending the week's retreat and mirroring a sell-off on Wall
Street led by technology and biotech shares that has been
fuelled by worries some stock valuations are overstretched.
European tech shares were among the most hit, with ARM
, whose chip designs feature in smartphones such as
Apple's iPhones, falling 4.9 percent.
ASML, the world's biggest manufacturer of tools
for the semiconductor industry, dropped 3.9 percent, telecom
gear maker Alcatel-Lucent lost 4 percent and chip
maker Infineon fell 3.3 percent.
"There's been contagion from the correction in the U.S.
which is probably not over, but the fact is: this is mostly a
U.S. correction," said David Thebault, head of quantitative
sales trading at Global Equities, in Paris.
"People are getting out of overvalued sectors and looking
for bargains elsewhere. The market's positive longer-term trend
is still intact, this pull-back will just remove the froth."
European tech stocks have been trading at a premium to the
overall market, but unlike peers on Wall Street, valuations have
The STOXX Europe 600 tech index trades at 19.7 times
expected earnings, according to Thomson Reuters data, with
health care, industrials, travel, and leisure and construction
sectors more expensive.
At 1421 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 1.8 percent at 1,306.70 points, on
course to post losses of 3.4 percent for the week.
On Thursday, the Nasdaq suffered its biggest drop in 2 1/2
years, losing 3.1 percent, with the Nasdaq biotechnology index
sinking 5.6 percent.
"We've recently taken a little bit out of equities," said
Veronika Pechlaner, who helps manage $13 billion of assets at
"During the first quarter, when the market came back
strongly, we decided to lock in some of our gains that we made
in a good fourth quarter. It might be a little bit early to talk
about redeploying that."
European banking shares, which have been more volatile than
the broad market in recent years, also featured among the top
losers on Friday, with Bankinter down 3.6 percent and
Natixis down 3.7 percent.
The STOXX Europe 600 banking index is on course to
post a loss of 5 percent for the week.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by James