* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.8 percent
* Alfa Laval drops 6.7 pct after earnings
* Sell-off across board, all sectors down
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - European stocks fell broadly on
Tuesday as third quarter results presented a mixed picture,
hitting a one-week low that analysts said might encourage some
investors back into the market.
Swedish engineering group Alfa Laval led
decliners, dropping 6.7 percent after earnings missed forecasts
and it predicted flat demand at best in the rest of the year.
"There has been an element of (earnings) disappointment so
far as some of the statements remain downbeat given the global
economic environment," Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays
"However, any weakness should be used by investors to
increase their exposure to an asset class that continues to
outperform. We like technology, energy and consumer
Tuesday's sell-off was across the board, with all the
sectors on the STOXX Europe 600 falling. Basic
resources shares topped the fallers' list by dropping
1.6 percent, mirroring sharp declines in metals prices that fell
on persistent worries about global demand.
At 0815 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 0.8 percent at 1,099.08 points after
falling to 1,098.53, its lowest since Oct. 16.
The index has risen 16 percent from a June low and is up
about 10 percent so far this year against a gloomy economic
backdrop, but some analysts said its medium- to longer-term
outlook remained positive.
Graham Bishop, senior equity strategist at Exane BNP
Paribas, said now was a good time to buy back into the market.
"Markets are now less overbought and are getting some
valuation and earnings support. You should be prepared to take
more risk," he said. "We are overweight banks, mining,
industrials, chemicals and construction."
According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, of the 9 percent
companies that have reported third-quarter results so far, 56
percent have met or beaten analyst forecasts.
"There is a chance that earnings disappointments will be
quite minor on the basis that growth might have weakened in the
third quarter, but leading indicators picked up in September...
We will be bullish in the near term," Bishop said.
Leading gainers were Michelin and Swedbank
, up 3.9 percent and 2.3 percent after both posted
Experian rose 3.6 percent after the British credit
information firm bought an outstanding stake in Brazilian
affiliate Serasa, which analysts said had strong prospects.