PARIS Jan 4 European shares fell in early trade on Friday as signs of rising concerns among U.S. Federal Reserve members about the central bank's quantitative easing programme prompted investors to book a portion of recent strong gains.
Investors were also cautious ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls data for December, due later in the session.
At 0802 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,161.65 points, retreating from near-two-year highs hit in the previous session.
"The market is getting quite 'overbought', both U.S. and European stocks, and there's a risk of a sell-off if the payrolls figures are disappointing," FXCM analyst Nicolas Cheron said.
"A lot of fund managers are being sucked in, buying the market because of fears of missing the rally. We're set for a correction wave sometime in the next two to three months. It might not start in the short term, but it's definitely coming."
Minutes from the Fed's December policy meeting released on Thursday showed some voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee were increasingly worried about the potential risks of the Fed's asset purchases on financial markets.
Our top photos from the past week.