UK stocks : FTSEurofirst 300 closes down 1.5 pct

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A sharp fall on the Milan stock market hit European shares on Thursday. (Reuters) A sharp fall on the Milan stock market hit European shares on Thursday. (Reuters)
SummaryA sharp fall on the Milan stock market hit European shares on Thursday.

of 2013, rather than deeper worries over the euro zone's economic problems.

"Some of the gloss to the rally has been removed but it's more of a corrective sell-off rather than a negative one," he said.

The FTSEurofirst remains up from a 2013 low of 1,132.73 points. The Euro STOXX 50 is also up some 26 percent from lows reached last June, after a pledge by the European Central Bank (ECB) last year to do "whatever it takes" to protect the euro currency lifted equity markets.

Rupert Baker, a European equity sales executive at Mirabaud Securities, said investors were still buying up shares on days when the market fell for relatively cheap prices, on expectations of a gradual rise in European equities in 2013.

"Private client fund managers are still inclined to buy on the dip," he said.

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