LONDON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - European shares sank to a three
and a half month closing low on Friday and chalked up their
worst week since late September, on persistent concerns over the
U.S. fiscal policy outlook and the euro zone debt crisis.
The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally ended down 1
percent at 1,068.34, its lowest close since Aug. 2, and taking
its weekly loss to 2.6 percent.
"Investors are pretty cautious and uncertain; it's been a
difficult week," Michael Hewson, senior markets analyst at CMC
"You've got a growing acceptance that there will be no quick
resolution either in the U.S. or in Europe and... what people
are starting to do is take a bit of money off the table for the
year, because further upside is likely to be very limited."
Investors were again focused on the potential economic
impact of U.S. spending cuts and tax hikes due to kick-in in
early 2013, as President Barack Obama and congressional leaders
readied for budget and tax talks on Friday.
Uncertainty over the next steps with regard to Greece's
finances also weighed on sentiment, with banking shares in the
euro zone the worst hit, down 2.6 percent and giving
back yet more of their recent three month rally.