* FTSEurofirst 300 and Euro STOXX 50 down nearly 1 pct
* Wal Mart’s weak forecast, China data weigh on sentiment
* ASML, Skanska hit by weak business updates
* New business in-flows lift Hargreaves Lansdown shares
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, Oct 14 (Reuters) - European shares ended lower for a third consecutive session on Wednesday on disappointing U.S. earnings and concerns about deflationary pressures in China, while technology group ASML and builder Skanska declined after weak business updates.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.8 percent while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index declined by 0.9 percent. Some investors were taking profits after a rebound last week.
European stocks have retreated from peaks reached in April due partly to the signs of weakness in China, the world’s second-biggest economy and a major overseas market for European companies such as carmakers and luxury goods groups.
Consumer inflation in China eased more than expected in September, data showed, while producer prices fell for the 43rd straight month.
“Chinese data are weighing on sentiment, along with a disappointing earning report from JPMorgan in the U.S. But we shouldn’t forget that we’ve just left behind the best week of the year and some profit taking is normal,” said Marco Vailati, head of research at Cassa Lombarda.
Stock markets were also hit after U.S. retail giant Wal Mart disclosed a weak forecast that sent shares in the world’s biggest retailer down almost 10 percent.
In Europe, shares in ASML fell 4.4 percent after earnings at the supplier to global semiconductor makers came in slightly below analysts’ expectations, and with fewer than expected new bookings.
Sweden-based builder Skanska fell more than 8.9 percent, its heaviest one-day drop since August 2011, after it said writedowns would hit its third quarter profits.
Danish jewellery firm Pandora fell 5.9 percent after a dealer survey pointed to softer sales in the United States.
However, British financial company Hargreaves Lansdown rose 3.7 percent, the third best performer on the pan-European STOXX 600 index.
Even though Hargreaves reported a drop in first quarter assets under administration, investors were pleased that new business in-flows had hit a record high.
Portugal’s blue-chip index PSI < .PSI20> rose 0.2 percent, outperforming the rest of Europe, shrugging off political parties’ failure to form a government 10 days after a national election.
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London and Patricia Rua in Lisbon; Editing by Ruth Pitchford/Hugh Lawson)