European shares hit five-week low; eyes on ECB

jueves 2 de octubre de 2014 04:10 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.5 pct, at lowest since late August

* Allianz slips as Pimco suffers massive outflows

* Traders await details of ECB's asset-buying plan

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Oct 2 (Reuters) - European shares fell in early trading on Thursday, with a benchmark index hitting a five-week low as soft global manufacturing data prompted investors to cut equity holdings worldwide.

Shares in Allianz fell 0.4 percent, adding to recent sharp losses, after the firm's asset management unit Pimco suffered a record $23.5 billion of withdrawals from its flagship Pimco Total Return Fund in September. Its largest daily outflow occurred on the day of Bill Gross's surprise resignation from the firm.

At 0752 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,360.93 points, after losing 0.9 percent on Wednesday.

The index has lost 3.6 percent over the past two weeks, dragged down by a flurry of sales and profit warnings as well as by growing concerns over the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve's expected interest rate hike next year.

"All eyes are on the S&P 500 and whether or not it's entering a bearish trend. If we get a 'sell' signal on the index, then we're set for a serious correction, but it's too early to say if this is what's going to happen," Aurel BGC chartist Gerard Sagnier said.   Continuación...