* FTSEurofirst 300 down 1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.8 pct
* Miners lead retreat on caution ahead of China data
* Carrefour up 7 pct in relief rally after results
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) - European shares sold off on Thursday and slipped into the red for the week as investors positioned for more gloomy economic data from China and scaled back hopes of imminent monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Fed minutes published late on Wednesday showed the health of the world's biggest economy would have to worsen before the central bank launched a new quantitative easing programme, in spite of a series of weak economic and corporate reports.
"Investors are realising that quantitative easing won't come easy and earnings are starting to come in below expectations," said Claudia Panseri, global equity strategist at Societe Generale Private Banking.
"In Europe, sectors that are exposed to emerging markets ...are reporting results that are a bit below estimates, and we can envisage a revision of what can be expected in terms of global growth coming from emerging markets."
Shares in basic resources stocks were the top fallers, shedding 2.8 percent, ahead of quarterly economic growth data from top metals consumer China on Friday -- expected to show further deceleration -- and production numbers from big firms next week.
They weighed on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which closed down 1 percent at 1,028.82 points in thin volume equal to 76 percent of its 90-day average.
European shares could fall by another 15 percent this summer, according to Soc Gen's Panseri, as investors take stock of deteriorating macro conditions in the world's largest economies, the United States and China.
In this context, she expected U.S. indexes, which have been favoured by investors seeking refuge from the European crisis and are pricing in a positive economic backdrop, to underperform battered euro zone shares.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index's valuation implies a compound annual growth rate of 2.5 percent in earnings per share over the next five years, compared to a 4.5 percent annual contraction for the Euro STOXX 50, Thomson Reuters Starmine data showed.
This imbalance was also reflected by consensus analyst estimates for second quarter earnings, which were for a 10.4 percent fall among euro zone blue chips and 4.1 percent growth for S&P 500 companies.
Europe's biggest retailer, Carrefour, provided an example of investors' bearish assumptions for the euro zone on Thursday as it defied expectations for a new profit warning.
Shares in the French group rallied 7 percent in volume three times the average after it said trading in austerity-hit countries like Spain and Italy, though weak, was not getting worse.
It was the top riser on the Euro STOXX 50 index, which shed 0.8 percent to 2,228.01 points.
Technical charts on the index pointed to a gloomy picture after the gauge, which rose 6.9 percent in June, broke out of a rising pattern last week and struggled to break through technical resistances.
"Prices have pushed below an ascending trend line and are capped by a declining one," Philippe Delabarre, a technical analyst at Trading Central, said.
"Furthermore, prices struck against the bearish 20-day simple moving average and the RSI (relative strength index) indicator is capped by a downtrend."