European shares hit 3-1/2-month low on U.S. rate hike concerns

martes 9 de junio de 2015 07:46 GYT

* Pan-European FTSEurofirst index down 0.7 pct

* Investors spooked by prospect of September rate rise

* Amadeus falls as Air France mulls ticket levy

By Atul Prakash and Liisa Tuhkanen

LONDON, June 9 (Reuters) - European shares slipped to a 3-1/2-month low on Tuesday in a global sell-off in equities on mounting concern over the impact of a U.S. rate hike cycle from as early as September prompting European investors to cut risks.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares fell for a sixth straight session and was down 0.7 percent at 1,518.23 points by 1217 GMT after falling to a low of 1,507.72, the lowest since mid-February. The index has fallen more than 7 percent in the past two weeks.

The sell-off followed a fall in U.S. shares on Monday and in Asia overnight, following a series of encouraging U.S. reports in the recent past, including stronger-than-expected May jobs data, prompting expectations of a Fed rate hike in September, sooner than some expected.

"We have had a pickup in some of the U.S. economic indicators and this development tends to go hand in hand with increasing rate hikes fears," Robert Parkes, equity strategist at HSBC Global Research, said.

"We are not dismissing the potential for short-term volatility, but fundamentally we see the market remaining supported in the longer term. We expect earnings growth to come in significantly ahead of expectations this year and that, combined with the ongoing quantitative easing in Europe, will keep the bull market intact."   Continuación...