LONDON (Reuters) - Euro zone equities suffered their worst session in two months on Wednesday, as violent anti-austerity protests in Greece and Spain underscored the hurdles the bloc faces on its road out of recession and financial crisis.
Financials were the top fallers, as investors locked in profits on strong summer gains on expectations of central bank stimulus. Sentiment for the sector was further soured by vocal disagreements among euro zone member countries on how to recapitalize struggling banks.
A fresh batch of weak data and gloomy corporate reports from across the globe weighed on sectors most sensitive to the economic cycle, like autos and basic resources.
The Euro STOXX 50 index of euro zone blue chips provisionally closed down 2.4 percent at 2,505.87 points, in its biggest one-day drop since early August.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed down 1.7 percent at 1,100.98 points.
"At the end of the day there are still very poor figures and perspectives inside the euro zone," said Benoit Peloille, investment strategist at Natixis. "We have a market that has clearly rebounded, and you have some room for a correction, but we think it's not more than that."
(Reporting By Toni Vorobyova; editing by Simon Jessop)