Commodity stocks pull European shares cautiously lower

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 15:40 hrs

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Europe's top shares ended the week in negative territory with weakness in commodity stocks outpacing gains in healthcare and consumer staples as growth pains smother appetite for risk.

The FTSEurofirst provisionally closed down 4.09 points, or 0.4 percent to 1,094.71, paring the previous session's gains and keeping within its tight 20-point range, which has been in place since Sept. 26.

Although the uptrend on the index that began in June has just about remained in tact, momentum in European shares has ground to a halt on global growth concerns after a strong summer rally fueled by central bank stimulus and cheap valuations.

The FTSEurofirst 300 has hovered in a band of about 50 points since early August after the European central Bank announced it would do what it takes to save the euro and an even tighter range since the U.S. unveiled QE3 in mid-September.

"There is some very large problems out there and although the recent central bank actions will support prices it does not really solve the underlying problems, and the debt and lack of growth will be with us for a really long time," Peter Clark, chief strategist at Ingenious Asset Management, said.

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