Sanofi leads European shares to 2013 closing low

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 07, 2013 16:50 hrs

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Two leading pan-European equity indexes fell to 2013 closing lows on Thursday, led by weakness in drugmaker Sanofi after its results and amid persistent concern over the region's economic weakness.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed down 0.3 percent at 1,149.29 points, while the Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.7 percent to 2,599.16 points.

European Central Bank (ECB) head Mario Draghi said economic weakness would continue to afflict the region, which has been hit by a debt crisis, in the early part of 2013.

However, several traders expected the equity market's decline to be a relatively short-lived, with funds still looking to put money into higher-yielding stocks rather than bonds.

"The risk is still to the upside. People have had their fingers burnt trying to sell the market on the back of bad economic news," said XBZ Ltd European equity options broker Mike Turner.

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