* FTSEurofirst 300 down 2.8 percent, Euro STOXX 50 down 2 pct
* Miners, financial services bear brunt of selling
* Every stock in index falls
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Aug 24 (Reuters) - European stocks fell sharply at the open on Monday, wiping hundreds of billions of euros off the region’s top share index, which hit a seven-month low after a rout in China unnerved global markets.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 2.8 percent at 1,382.46 points by 0755 GMT, wiping around 230 billion euros ($264.04 billion) off the index.
The STOXX 600 Basic Resources Index, comprising mainly miners, and the oil & gas sector fell 5.5 percent and 3.2 percent respectively, as commodities slumped to multi-year lows on the weakness in China, the world’s top metals consumer.
Also sinking were fund managers, which are sensitive to market turmoil that could hit returns. The STOXX Europe 600 Financial Services index, down 3.6 percent.
“We are in the midst of a full-blown growth scare... (and) China is at the epicentre” strategists at JP Morgan Cazenove said in a note, adding that recent investor worries might be overdone.
The VSTOXX, a volatility index which is a crude gauge of investor unease, rose 4 points to hit its highest level since October 2014.
Concerns over China knocked the FTSEurofirst 300 last week as it posted its biggest weekly drop since August 2011, and it hit its lowest level since January in early deals on Monday.
Top euro zone shares on the Euro STOXX 50 fell 2 percent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC fell 2.2 percent, with Spain’s IBEX and Italy’s FTSE MIB down 2 percent.
Asian stocks earlier dropped to 3-year lows as a slump gathered pace in China, where equities posted their biggest daily fall since the financial crisis, hastening an exodus from riskier assets.
Stocks slid after Beijing offered no big policy move at the weekend to support equities, as was widely expected after last week’s 11 percent plunge.
Every stock on the FTSEurofirst 300 was lower. Top fallers were miners Anglo American, Glencore and BHP Billiton, highlighted by Societe Generale in a basket of China-exposed stocks.
“China’s equity market and thus the SG (basket) should continue to be under downward pressure on renewed fears of a hard landing in China,” SocGen strategists said in a note, adding more substantial support from authorities may be forthcoming.
“(Policy loosening) could come sooner rather than later given fast-rising concern about the economic outlook.”
($1 = 0.8711 euros)
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
editing by John Stonestreet