LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - European shares fell in early deals on Thursday as hopes of a deal between Greece and its creditors at a summit later in the day receded, further straining investor nerves after weeks of fruitless negotiations.
Hopes of a breakthrough on Thursday at a meeting of European finance ministers, once seen as the last opportunity for an agreement, looked increasingly remote.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.5 percent at 1,514.21 points, falling for the fourth of the past five sessions. The index was down nearly 7 percent since late May.
German software maker SAP, down 1.6 percent, was one of the biggest drags on the FTSEurofirst after rival Oracle Corp forecast quarterly profit below analysts’ estimates.
Worries about the Greek crisis and its potential ramification to the rest of the euro zone more than offset the more positive sentiment coming from Wall Street, where U.S. shares ended slightly higher after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy is likely strong enough to withstand an interest rate hike later this year. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Alistair Smout)