LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares gave up early gains and turned negative after the European Commission cut its growth forecast for the euro zone.
In its autumn estimates, the EU executive said the euro zone's economy would expand 0.8 percent this year, 1.1 percent next year and by 1.7 percent in 2016 - a level the Commission said six months ago would be achieved next year.
The delay in the upturn was due to drag on the economy from France and Italy.
"The commission is trimming its forecasts, it was a bit expected. What's more surprising is the gap in the deficit projections for France, the commission is much less optimistic than the French government," a Paris-based trader said.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.04 percent at 1.339.78 points by 1019 GMT after rising up to 1,346.49 points earlier in the session. France's CAC 40 index underperformed, losing 0.3 percent.
Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Blaise Robinson