European shares cut gains on lower euro zone growth forecasts
* FTSEurofirst 300 index flat by midday trading
* Index cuts gains after European Commission forecasts
* Energy companies fall sharply on weaker oil prices
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - European shares surrendered early gains on Tuesday after the European Commission cut its growth forecast for the euro zone and said the currency bloc will need another year to reach even a modest level of growth.
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 euro zone, which generates a fifth of world economic output, holds back a broader global revival led by the United States.
"There is still nervousness in the market about the euro zone's economic outlook," Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank in Munich, said.
"Certainly another year of sub-par growth into next year is not something that the market likes because investors have been banking on a recovery in corporate earnings and that might not get materialised in this environment." Continuación...