January 6, 2016 / 8:13 AM / 4 years ago

Miners lead European shares lower as China angst resurfaces

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - European stocks fell on Wednesday, hit by weakness in the commodity sector as concerns over the Chinese economy resurfaced after it allowed the yuan to weaken further.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.6 percent at 1,402.07 by 0812 GMT, with basic resources stocks, including miners, down 2.4 percent, the biggest sectoral faller.

Miners came under pressure after the People’s Bank of China set a weaker midpoint for the yuan, prompting concerns that the economy of the world’s largest metals consumer could be even weaker than imagined.

A survey showed that China’s services sector expanded at its slowest pace in 17 months in December.

“Equity markets did not take the (yuan) surprise well... There was little joy to be had in the Caixin Services PMI release today either,” Angus Nicholson, market analyst at IG, said in a note.

Risk sentiment was also dampened after North Korea said it had successfully conducted a test of a miniaturised hydrogen nuclear device on Wednesday morning, marking a significant advance in the isolated state’s strike capabilities and raising alarm bells in Japan and South Korea. (Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing Kit Rees)

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