Tech mars fourth week of gains for European shares
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - European shares chalked up a fourth straight week of gains but ended flat on Friday, weighed by fresh weakness in the technology sector after forecast-lagging earnings from two U.S. bellwethers.
The European tech sector fell 0.8 percent to top the list of sectoral fallers after software firm Microsoft and internet giant Google both posted weak numbers.
That weighed on chip-maker ARM, down 2.6 percent, ahead of its results next Wednesday, while software firm SAP dropped 2.4 percent after several analysts cut targets on the stock in light of its recent results.
By the provisional close, the pan-European FTSEurofirst was down 0.04 percent at 1,208.64, although up 1.1 percent on the week.
It has bounced 8.8 percent from its June low as the U.S. Federal Reserve sought to dispel anxiety that the withdrawal of stimulus would come too soon, a message that was reiterated this week by Chairman Ben Bernanke.
"For Google, their model for making money is getting to maturity, so they're getting hit, and all the tech stocks are a bit lower on that," Lucas Roux de Luze, sales trader at TJM Partners, said.
"More generally, the sentiment of the market is that after a great run on the back of Bernanke's comments and decent earnings, we're consolidating a little bit."