European shares end best week in 5 mths on lower note

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 26, 2013 15:50 hrs

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Friday as disappointing economic data and some downbeat corporate reports cast a shadow on the best weekly gain in five months for a key regional benchmark.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed 0.4 percent lower on the day at 1,195.40 points but was still up 3.7 percent for the week as expectations mounted for stimulus measures from the European Central Bank on Thursday.

The index extended losses in the afternoon as data showed U.S. economic growth was lower than expected in the first quarter, striking a cautious note ahead of the non-farm payrolls report next Friday.

"Next week is probably when I'll make up my mind," said Manish Singh, director and head of investment servicer at Crossbridge Capital, who has positions in European financial and pharmaceutical stocks.

"If we get a bad set of data then you have to cut your positions because it could play into the crowd thinking of 'sell in May and go away'."

French fashion firm and luxury goods group PPR was among top fallers -- down 6.8 percent in heavy volume, after its first-quarter sales missed forecasts.

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