London - European shares slipped on Wednesday
hitting a three-week closing low in a choppy session, with two major indexes
falling below a support level sending a bearish signal to the market as weak
US data hit investor sentiment.
New orders for long-lasting US factory goods rose less than
expected in February, raising fears that economic growth in the first quarter
would be lacklustre.
“It has been a choppy trading session, there has been a knee-jerk
reaction to the US durable goods orders,” said Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist at City Index.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed down 1% at
1 073.03 which was just above its 50-day moving average, while both the FTSE 100
and the Euro STOXX 50 index broke below theirs.
“Our clients are trading in a range on the FTSEurofirst 300 index
between around 1 090, a level it has failed to break much above, and 1 070 which
is near its 50-day moving average. If it breaks 1 070 we could see it drop to
1 060, its March low,” he said.
One of the most actively traded stocks was Total, down 1.4%
in volume four times its 90-day daily average, after the oil major on Tuesday
warned it could take six months to halt the flow of a gas leak at its Elgin
North Sea platform.