European shares drop sharply; traders cite China regulation concerns
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 1.3 pct
* China trading clampdown hits futures and rocks Europe
* Options expiry and Bloomberg outage add to volatility
* SKF slumps after it forecasts flat demand (Updates with closing prices, quote)
By Alistair Smout and Francesco Canepa
LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - European shares dropped on Friday, with traders pointing to weakness in Chinese futures markets as one of the drivers on a trading day also marked by an outage on Bloomberg financial terminals.
At the close, the FTSEurofirst 300 was down 1.8 percent at 1,607.03 points. The Frankfurt DAX was down 2.6 percent, with some traders also pointing to the expiry of futures and options on European indexes as a factor exacerbating market volatility.
Traders said weakness in Chinese futures markets fuelled the drop in Europe and was related to market chatter about further regulatory changes on trading in China, including a clampdown on margin trading.
"The securities regulator is encouraging short-selling to institutional investors, and they are going to stop margin trading on OTC," Ioan Smith, managing director of KCG Europe, said. Continuación...