PARIS, Nov 13 (Reuters) - European stocks pared early gains and turned negative on Thursday, as energy shares sank along with Brent crude prices.
Brent futures tumbled nearly 2 percent to below $79 a barrel, hitting a four-year low, dragged down in part by data showing that China’s economy lost further momentum in October.
Shares in Total fell 1.4 percent, Seadrill dropped 3.3 percent and Saipem shed 4 percent.
“$80 is the pain threshold,” said Alexandre Baradez, chief market analyst at IG France.
“Below that, a lot of the oil majors’ projects are not profitable and a lot of oil-producing countries start to have serious budget issues. It’s also a problem for the euro zone because it drags down inflation.”
At 1305 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent at 1,339.28 points, reversing an early rally.
Britain’s FTSE 100 equity index was down by 0.1 percent, France’s CAC fell 0.4 percent while Germany’s DAX also retreated by 0.1 percent. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)