LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Thursday, retreating after solid gains in the previous session following dovish comments from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, while French telecom stocks underperformed.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.7 percent. The index had risen 1.3 percent in the previous session after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s call for caution in raising U.S. interest rates buoyed global stock markets.
French telecom stocks were among the worst performers after Orange and Bouygues decided to extend negotiations on a possible sale of Bouygues Telecom until Sunday, citing a lack of progress ahead of a Thursday deadline.
Orange shares fell 1.5 percent, while Bouygues declined 3.3 percent. Rival French telecom stocks also lost ground, with Iliad dropping 3.3 percent, Numericable-SFR down 1 percent, while Altice fell 1.9 percent. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Atul Prakash)