PARIS May 9 European shares fell in early trade
on Thursday, halting a sharp three-week rally to multi-year
highs, with pharmaceutical stocks trimming recent lofty gains.
GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca were both
down 0.5 percent. The sector has surged more than 20 percent
over the past six months.
At 0706 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 0.2 percent at 1,226.86 points,
slipping from a near five-year high hit on Wednesday, while the
euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down
0.6 percent at 2,768.81 points, retreating from a near two-year
Technical momentum indicators have been signalling that the
two benchmark indexes were ripe for a retreat.
"We're seeing excessive optimism, with more and more retail
investors turning bullish, which is never a good sign," said
Guillaume Dumans, co-ahead of 2Bremans, a Paris-based research
firm using behavioural finance to monitor investor sentiment.
"The signal we get from our indicator is contrarian, so we
expect a pull-pack today."
Bucking the trend, Spanish oil group Repsol rose
1.5 percent, lifted by results showing a forecast-beating 47
percent jump in adjusted net profit.