European shares slip ahead of Bernanke policy hint

* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.2 percent

* Old Mutual slides as HSBC pulls out of Nedbank

* Techs gain on Advanced Micro Devices, Google results

* For up-to-the minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]
By Joanne Frearson

LONDON, Oct 15 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares fell on Friday
before a speech by the U.S. Federal Reserve head which could
give clues on the Fed’s next policy steps, while retailers
slipped after Carrefour (CARR.PA: ) trimmed its profit forecast.

However, losses were limited as technology stocks Infineon
(IFXGn.DE: ) and ASML (ASML.AS: ) both rose 1.2 percent following
strong quarterly results from U.S. chipmaker Advanced Micro
Devices (AMD.N: ) and the Internet search giant Google (GOOG.O: ).

By 1136 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
index of top shares was down 0.2 percent at 1,082.95 points.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is due to talk at
8:15 a.m. (1215 GMT) at a Fed conference in Boston.

“The markets are waiting for Bernanke. They want to hear
when the quantitative easing (QE) will begin and how much there
will be: if they don’t they’ll be disappointed,” Giuseppe-Guido
Amato, strategist at Lang & Schwarz in Frankfurt, said.

Financial markets widely expect the U.S. central bank to
begin a new programme of buying longer-term U.S. Treasury
securities at its Nov. 2-3 meeting and will look for more
details on the scope. [ID:nN14141178]

Retailers weighed on the market, with the STOXX Europe 600
Retail (.SXRP: ) down 0.8 percent.

Europe’s biggest retailer Carrefour (CARR.PA: ) fell 4 percent
after it trimmed its 2010 profit forecast due to weak sales in
French hypermarkets and pointed to problems in Brazil, raising
concerns over the execution of its turnaround plan.

French drinks group Pernod-Ricard (PERP.PA: ) slid 2.2 percent
after Credit Suisse cut to “underperform” from “neutral”.

Elsewhere, the insurance sector featured among the worst
performers. Old Mutual (OML.L: ) was 6.1 percent lower after HSBC
(HSBA.L: ) dropped out of an $8 billion bid for South Africa’s
Nedbank (NEDJ.J: ), which is majority owned by Old Mutual.

BRIGHTER PICTURE AT ITV

On the upside, ITV (ITV.L: ) gained 3.6 percent after Morgan
Stanley upgraded the broadcaster to “overweight” and raised its
price target, saying the climate for advertising is becoming
more benign.

Technical charts indicated a bullish trend for equities,
with the Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: ) staying above a key
resistance of 2,825.84 — its 61.8 percent retracement of an
April high to a May 7 low — for the third day in a row.

The next key resistance is seen at around 2,900, said Bill
McNamara, technical analyst at Charles Stanley, although
“broadly speaking, my expectations are for it to exceed that and
run up to 2,950 before the rally peters out”.

McNamara said that would tie in with similar expected moves
in the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average, which he also
expects to add 4 percent on the back of the QE play. “It’s a
total risk-on rally,” he added.

Across Europe, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index was down 0.5
percent, Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) was 0.3 percent lower and
France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) was down 0.1 percent.
(Additional reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by David Hulmes)

European shares slip ahead of Bernanke policy hint