LONDON Dec 13 European shares slipped on
Thursday after persistent concern about U.S. austerity measures
that could hit growth in the world's largest economy
overshadowed fresh stimulus steps from the Federal Reserve.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was off 0.1 percent at
1,138.60 by 0812 GMT, erasing Wednesday's 0.1 percent gain.
The Fed announced a new round of monetary stimulus on
Wednesday and indicated interest rates would remain near zero
until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent.
But a key issue continued to be worries over the U.S. budget
impasse, and whether the United States would miss a year-end
deadline to avert the "fiscal cliff" of some $600 billion of tax
hikes and spending cuts due to start in January.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke warned on Wednesday that monetary
policy would not be enough to offset damage from the fiscal
"I think we'll get a slow drift into the year end... there
are no real factors that are going to come in to send it
significantly higher. The overhang of the fiscal cliff is going
to weigh on the upside to a certain extent," Michael Hewson,
senior analyst at CMC Markets, said.