Emerging Market Turmoil, Deflation Jitters Hurt European Shares
European stocks fell on Friday, posting their first monthly loss since August and slowed by concerns that corporate earnings will slide due to weak emerging markets. Also roiling investors, data showed an unexpected drop in euro-zone inflation, reviving fears that the currency bloc could slip into deflation. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares slid 0.2 percent to 1,291.17 points, causing a monthly loss of 1.9 percent. The index dropped as much as 1.6 percent during the session, before late-day short covering cut losses, traders said. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index ended 0.4 percent lower at 3,013.96 points, with technical charts showing the benchmark index slipping below a positive trend line started in June, sending investors a bearish signal. The Euro STOXX 50′s next barrier on the downside is 2,916 points, representing a low that was hit in mid-December. Below that line, the index’s next big support level will be at 2,877 points, the 200-day moving average.