* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.6 pct, reverses Thursday’s gains
* Volvo shares jump after surprise rise in earnings
* So far, 68 pct of companies meet/beat forecasts -data
* European equities suffer further outflows -Lipper
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) - European shares fell in early trading on Friday, reversing the previous session’s gains as investors fretted about news that a doctor who recently returned to New York from West Africa had tested positive for Ebola.
Shares in luxury group Kering featured among the top losers, down 3.8 percent after posting a drop in sales at its Gucci brand.
BASF fell 2.1 percent after the world’s largest chemicals company by sales cut its 2015 earnings forecast on weak demand in its European home markets.
Bucking the trend, shares in global truck maker Volvo jumped 9.6 percent after posting a surprise rise in core earnings.
Belgacom also surged, up 6.5 percent after the Belgian telecoms group raised its 2014 profit forecast after a surprise increase in the third quarter due to improved mobile income and lower costs.
So far in Europe’s earnings season, about a fifth of STOXX 600 companies have reported results, of which 68 percent have met or beaten analyst forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.
In absolute terms, companies have posted a 13.7 percent rise in quarterly profits, well above the 6.8 percent rise posted by S&P 500 companies.
At 0747 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,310.68 points, halting a rebound started late last week.
A New York City doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa became the first person to test positive for the virus in America’s largest city, setting off fresh fears about the spread of the disease.
U.S. stock index futures fell on the news while safe-haven assets such as the yen and U.S. bonds gained ground.
“When the story broke that a doctor in New York was confirmed to have Ebola the Dow futures shed over 100 points,” Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria said.
That trend carried over into European trading.
Despite the tentative rebound in stocks earlier this week, investors continued to slash exposure to European equities, with U.S.-based funds invested in European shares seeing outflows for a third straight week, according to Lipper data.
A Lipper survey of 109 U.S.-domiciled funds investing in European shares, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), shows redemptions of $958 million in the seven days to Oct 22, adding to the record weekly outflows of $1.33 billion in the previous week.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
editing by John Stonestreet