Legrand limps lower as European shares fall ahead of ECB

jueves 6 de noviembre de 2014 04:14 GYT

LONDON Nov 6 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Thursday, with switch maker Legrand underperforming, as expectations that a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting might not deliver new monetary easing measures weighed on markets.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had risen 1.7 percent on Wednesday, slipped back to fall 0.3 percent to 1,344.26 points.

French group Legrand slid 5 percent after Legrand said its full-year organic sales growth and margin targets had become tough to reach amid a weakening macroeconomic environment.

The ECB is set to stick to the policy path laid out over the summer when it meets on Thursday, waiting for its stimulus to unfold before considering further steps, and keeping interest rates at record lows.

More drastic measures in the form of outright purchases of sovereign bonds - as deployed by other major central banks to boost their economies - still remain distant in the euro zone, mainly due to political hurdles, especially in Germany.

The November policy meeting also takes place against a backdrop of meager growth prospects for the euro zone and mounting discomfort among Governing Council members over ECB President Mario Draghi's leadership style.

Jean Maigrot, portfolio manager at NewSmith Asset Management, did not expect any significant, new developments from the ECB on Thursday.

"I would be surprised if they do anything meaningful, other than make more soothing noises at best. Under this scenario, if there's a post-ECB rally, it will be short-lived," said Maigrot. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Alistair Smout)