Europe shares hit by US fiscal, Greek debt concerns

LONDON Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:42pm GMT

LONDON Nov 12 (Reuters) - European shares ended lower for a fourth straight session on Monday, with mounting uncertainties related to a looming U.S. fiscal crisis and the next tranche of aid for Greece hurting investor sentiment.

Analysts said if the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index failed to recover in the coming days and fell around another 1.5 percent to 2,440 points, then 'stop-loss' sell orders could be triggered and lead to further declines.

The index fell 0.2 percent to 2,474.96 points, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally ended 0.2 percent lower at 1,095.44 points on concerns about the U.S. "fiscal cliff" of scheduled spending cuts and tax rises from next year and the Greek situation.

"The 'fiscal cliff' is really a burden for the market. Most probably the lawmakers will come to an agreement early next year, but that's the problem, as this uncertainty will continue until then. Greece is also a big issue for the market," said Christian Stocker, equity strategist at UniCredit in Munich.

Among the sectors worst hit were those more exposed to any weakening in the macroeconomic outlook, including construction and materials, down 0.9 percent.

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