Europe shares fall as ECB sticks to QE decision next year

jueves 4 de diciembre de 2014 13:40 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 1.4 pct, Italy's MIB down 2.8 pct

* Lack of details on QE sparks bout of profit taking

* Volatility index shows no rise in risk aversion

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Dec 4 (Reuters) - European shares sank on Thursday after the European Central Bank stuck to its line that it will decide early next year whether further measures are needed to boost the euro zone economy, sparking a bout of profit-taking.

Hopes that the central bank would embark on a U.S.-style government bond-buying scheme have been fuelling a strong rally in European shares in the past few weeks, with Germany's DAX surging 20 percent since mid-October and hitting a record high on Thursday, before falling back.

The lack of clear details during ECB President Mario Draghi's press conference on if and when the central bank will take the radical step of printing money to buy sovereign bonds prompted investors to lock in their recent gains.

"Investors were hoping for more substance on sovereign bond purchases, but Draghi hasn't given investors anything that is really new," said John Smith, senior fund manager at Brown Shipley.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 1.4 percent lower, at 1,380.77 points, its sharpest one-day drop in 7 weeks.   Continuación...