* FTSEurofirst 300 drops 0.3 percent
* Nokia leads tech selloff after telecoms profit miss
* SCA, Banco Popular up after results (Recasts, adds detail, quote)
By Alistair Smout and Francesco Canepa
LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - A selloff in technology stocks weighed on European shares on Thursday after disappointing numbers from Nokia, leaving a top pan-European equity index set for its first monthly fall this year.
Shares in Finnish firm Nokia fell 8.2 percent after it posted quarterly profits well below forecast at its main telecom network equipment business, citing lower software sales, higher costs and challenging conditions in Europe and Latin America.
“It came as a surprise to many because Nokia’s business mix was supposed to be a bit better than this,” Evli Bank analyst Mikko Ervasti said.
“It looks like Nokia had to make quite a lot of very basic network implementation, which is quite a costly business that yields better results later when those networks get their upgrades.”
Sector peer Alcatel Lucent, the target of a planned takeover by Nokia, dropped 6.6 percent while Ericsson was down 2.1 percent and the broader STOXX Europe 600 tech index fell 1.5 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of European shares traded 0.36 percent lower at 1,576.20 points by 1030 GMT.
The index was down 0.3 percent for the month on the last day of April, set for its first monthly fall of 2015.
Milan-listed shares in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles extended losses from the previous session, down 3 percent, after Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne made another call for largescale consolidation in the car industry.
Franco-Italian semiconductor maker STMicroelectronics dropped over 11 percent after posting slightly weaker-than-expected first-quarter results on Thursday and warning it anticipated little pickup in the current quarter.
With just over a third of European earnings releases out by Wednesday, 61 percent of companies had met or beaten expectations, StarMine data showed.
Sweden’s SCA rose 7 percent after expectation beating results, while German healthcare group Fresnius rose 4.1 percent after lifting its earnings forecast.
Germany’s DAX outperformed rivals to trade up 0.3 percent.
Banco Popular rose 6 percent. Although Spain’s sixth-biggest bank by market value posted a net interest income below forecast, it reaffirmed its objectives to hit a 2.3 billion-2.4 billion euros net interest income target in 2015.
Many analysts are betting on a euro zone economic recovery to support earnings this year.
Spain’s economy expanded in the first quarter at its fastest pace in over seven years while the euro zone ended four months of deflation in April, suggesting that monetary stimulus is beginning to take effect.
“Earnings are in line to have another quarter of growth, particularly in sales, and that highlights that the economic recovery in Europe is on track,” said James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts.
“Monetary stimulus helps.”
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Louise Ireland and Crispian Balmer)