LONDON Oct 12 European shares fell on Friday on
persistent concerns about the outlook for the third-quarter
earnings season that is expected to keep regional markets within
a tight near-term range.
At 0709 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 0.4 percent to 1.094.81 points. The
index is down 1.5 percent so far this week on the earnings
worries, but analysts said the market was not likely to fall
sharply and would continue to trade in a range.
"It's not going to be a great earnings season but there are
good reasons not to be too worried about it. I think
disappointments will be contained to some degree on the basis
that labour costs have been falling and expectations have been
lowered quite considerably," Graham Bishop, senior equity
strategist at Exane BNP Paribas, said.
"We think valuations are supportive. We are sticking to our
pro-cyclical bias," he said, adding the market was in a holding
pattern after a good summer run and was looking for catalysts
such as more clarity on the U.S. "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts
and tax rises to break the current trading range.