Wires

Earnings outlook weighs down European shares

* FTSEurofirst 300 flat, Euro STOXX 50 slips 0.1 percent

* Traders cite concerns over weak company results, euro zone

* Bang & Olufsen falls 4 percent after posting losses

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Concerns over weak corporateearnings and the euro zone debt crisis weighed on European stockmarkets on Wednesday, with traders saying key markets were setto fall further from highs reached last month.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat at 1,095.71points, while the euro zone Euro STOXX 50 indexslipped by 0.1 percent to 2,469.54 points.

Worries over the euro zone debt crisis - and the strugglesof countries such as Greece and Spain - were highlighted by theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday, which called onEuropean policymakers to act with urgency.

Although equity markets have rallied since July, whencentral banks such as the European Central Bank pledged newstimulus measures, the global economy is still weakening.

"The earnings are a problem. Companies aren't going to earnmuch when there's no growth," said Adrian Slack, head ofequities at London-based Bastion Capital.

In a sign that earnings could disappoint, Danish luxurystereo and television maker Bang & Olufsen fell 4.4percent on Wednesday after it reported a widening in pre-taxlosses.

EURO ZONE WORRIES LINGER

According to Thomson Reuters Starmine data, earnings growthof companies in the pan-European STOXX 600 index willcontract by 2.9 percent each year, on average, over the nextfive years.

The weak economic outlook was highlighted by the IMF onWednesday, which said in a report that the euro zone's debtcrisis had contributed to "very fragile" confidence in theglobal financial system.

Greece is struggling with the terms of its bailout deal,while uncertainty remains over the timing of any eventualSpanish request for a similar sovereign rescue package.

"The markets will be a little bit on the defensive, withconcerns over Greece and Spain," said Richard Griffiths,associate director at Berkeley Futures.

The Euro STOXX 50 index has fallen more than 3 percent sofar this week, and Bastion Capital's Slack said he would look tosell the index after it broke the 2,473 level, which someanalysts said could push it down to 2,450 points.

(Editing by Susan Fenton)

((sudip.kargupta@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 9795)(ReutersMessaging: sudip.kargupta.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS EUROPE STOCKS/OPEN