European shares hit 7-week lows; miners fall

Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:46am GMT

* FTSEurofirst down 0.6 pct

* Miners fall on weak China data

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Wednesday, after muted demand for a German bond auction heightened worries about the euro zone crisis, and weak data from China intensified concerns about a global economic slowdown.

Germany sold 3.65 billion euros of new 10-year government bonds on Tuesday, in an auction which was technically uncovered after Berlin offered the lowest coupon on record for this maturity.

Banks, exposed to euro zone peripheral debt, were among the fallers. The STOXX Europe 600 Banking Index fell 0.7 percent.

Miners were also among the biggest fallers, as any slowdown in China, the world's biggest consumer of metals, is likely to hurt demand.

China's factory sector shrank the most in 32 months in November as new orders slumped, a preliminary PMI survey showed, reviving worries that China may be headed for a hard landing.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources Index fell 1.2 percent, cutting losses from earlier in the session, but it has fallen more than 37 percent in 2011.

"When it comes to economic growth forecasts for next year, one of the largest incremental positives was China. If that slows, it's a major negative," said Ian King head of international equities at Legal & General.

At 1033 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.6 percent at 909.16 points, after earlier hitting its lowest since early October.

(brian.gorman@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 9128; Reuters Messaging: brian.gorman.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

============================================================= For rolling updates on what is moving European shares please click on ============================================================= For pan-European market data and news, click on codes in brackets: European Equities speed guide................... FTSEurofirst 300 index.............................. STOXX Europe index.................................. Top 10 STOXX sectors........................... Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................... Top 10 Eurofirst 300 sectors................... Top 25 European pct gainers....................... Top 25 European pct losers........................

Main stock markets: Dow Jones............... Wall Street report ..... Nikkei 225............. Tokyo report............ FTSE 100............... London report........... Xetra DAX............. CAC-40............... World Indices..................................... Reuters survey of world bourse outlook......... Western European IPO diary......................... European Asset Allocation........................

Reuters News at a Glance: Equities................. Main currency report:.................................

(Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.