* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.4 pct
* Carlsberg top faller after results miss, guidance scrapped
* Euro STOXX 50 edges below support, faces further falls
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - European shares continued their
recent losing streak on Monday with brewer Carlsberg
leading fallers after it reported forecast-lagging results.
The world's fourth biggest brewery ditched its long-term
margin forecasts and reported a weaker-than-expected quarterly
profit, sending its shares down 4.6 percent to the bottom of the
The pan European index had shed 0.3 percent to take it to
1,157.58 points by 0836 GMT, adding to recent losses as a
lacklustre European earnings season continued to dampen investor
appetite after January's strong rally.
The selloff was broad-based, with declines in all sectorial
indexes apart from media and real estate, in a
sign investor sentiment about the market at large was worsening.
Traders said activity was liable to be slow later on Monday with
Wall Street closed for a national holiday.
The blue-chip euro zone Euro STOXX 50, down 0.4
percent to 2,606, edged below technical support at around 2,610,
its 2012 top.
The index's failure to break above the 55-day moving average
last week was seen as a sign of further falls to come, with a
technical support level at 2,505, the 50 percent retracement of
the 2011 selloff, seen as a possible target.
"The index is stuck between a rock and a hard place," Anders
Soderberg, chief technical analyst at SEB Bank in Stockholm,
"I think we'll soon see a drop down to the 2,505 area. If
it's a correction, it ends there but there's certainly a growing
risk for a more profound setback, confirmed...below 2,500."
The Euro STOXX 50 rallied 34 percent between June 2012 and
the end of January, boosted by steps by global central banks to
stimulate the economy and backstop the sovereign debt markets.
But the index has since fallen nearly 6 percent as some
disappointing corporate results and nerves ahead of general
elections in debt-laden Italy next weekend triggered some profit
Among companies reporting disappointing results on Monday
was Dutch mail delivery group TNT Express, which
unexpectedly swung to a fourth-quarter loss, sending its shares
down 1 percent in early deals before paring losses.
Around 38 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies
that have reported results so far have missed consensus
forecasts, leading analysts to cut their 2013 estimates by 2.2
percent in the past 30 days, Starmine data showed.
Strategists at JPMorgan said falling earnings estimates were
capping the upside for equities, with cyclical shares, which
depend on economic growth and tend to show a greater correlation
to the earnings cycle, as the most likely underperformers.
"After a strong start to the year, some retracement is
evident," JPMorgan's strategists said in a note.
"We continue with our tactical consolidation call started
three weeks ago."
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa/editing by Chris Pizzey, London
MPG Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)