European shares hover near 2-month lows as energy stocks fall

* FTSEurofirst 300 down around three pct this week

* Weak oil prices place stress on energy shares

* Bearish broker comments hit Dialog shares

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Dec 11 European shares fell on Friday as weak commodity rates put stress on markets prior to a extensively anticipated rise in U.S. interest prices subsequent week.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell .five percent to hover near two-month lows, although the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also declined by a comparable amount.

The FTSEurofirst is down by practically three % so far this week and also down 6 percent since the start off of December, soon after the European Central Bank disappointed some investors with only restricted new economic stimulus measures this month.

Weak commodity rates have also weighed on markets this month.

The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index fell 1.1 %, with crude oil costs remaining at levels not noticed since early 2009 as output in the Middle East continued to rise in spite of an already massive worldwide glut.

“These growing fears over elements such as an excessive oversupply in the markets and the visible reduction in demand for oil have regularly haunted investor sentiment, consequently affecting any remaining attraction towards oil,” mentioned FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.

French advertising group Publicis underperformed, falling .six percent following losing a U.S. marketing account with L’Oreal to rival WPP, whose shares rose .9 %.

Shares in companies exposed to South Africa, such as British financial groups Old Mutual and Investec, also dropped as South African economic stocks slumped in the wake of the sacking of the country’s finance minister.

Dialog Semiconductor’s shares also fell by about 10 %, with traders citing adverse comments on the outlook for the company from Bankhaus Lampe.

In spite of the pullback on markets this month, the FTSEurofirst 300 index remains up by around four percent since the start of 2015, helped in portion by the ECB’s policies which have supported a recovery in the euro zone economy.

Today’s European study round-up

(Editing by Toby Chopra)