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
"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.