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

martes 9 de junio de 2015 12:22 GYT

* Pan-European FTSEurofirst index ends 0.4 pct lower

* Investors spooked by prospect of September rate rise

* Amadeus falls as Air France mulls ticket levy

By Atul Prakash

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

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares fell for a sixth straight session and ended 0.4 percent lower at 1,522.29 points after falling to 1,507.72, the lowest since mid-February. It is down more than 7 percent in the past two weeks.

The sell-off followed a fall in U.S. shares and in Asia overnight, following a series of encouraging recent U.S. reports. They included stronger-than-expected May jobs data, prompting expectations of a Fed rate hike in September, sooner than some had 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," said Robert Parkes, equity strategist at HSBC Global Research.

"We are not dismissing the potential for short-term volatility, but fundamentally we see the market remaining supported in the longer term.   Continuación...