July 25, 2012 / 3:38 PM / 5 years ago

European shares fall for fourth day on U.S. gloom

LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - European stocks extended their fall into a fourth day on Wednesday as U.S. home sales data and revenue from consumer bellwether Apple disappointed.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed 1.13 points lower, or 0.1 percent, at 1,017.48 points, adding to the 45.86 points shed in the previous three sessions.

The index turned negative in the afternoon, when data showed U.S. single-family home sales fell by the most in more than a year in June and Apple’s shares fell on lower than expected quarterly revenue, hit by a sagging European economy.

The index had traded higher for most of the day, helped by speculation the euro zone’s bailout fund could be given access to central bank money to help it defuse the region’s sovereign debt crisis, as suggested by European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny on Wednesday.

“U.S. new home sales printed as the lowest on record, UK and German data (earlier on Wednesday) were weak and the euro zone debt drama remains,” Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at ETX Capital said.

“The push up earlier on Nowotny’s comments could never be sustainable.” (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; editing by Simon Jessop)

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