European shares down as weak commodity stocks offset Telecom, Bayer gains
* Mining, energy stocks lead sectoral decliners
* Telecom Italia rises after CEO steps down
* Bayer up on possible Monsanto interest for Bayer unit
* JP Morgan cuts euro zone equities to "neutral" (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report for more details. Adds closing prices)
By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, March 21 (Reuters) - European shares closed lower on Monday, with weaker commodity stocks more than offsetting gains in Bayer and Telecom Italia .
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.25 percent, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down by 0.36 percent.
Telecom Italia rose 3.1 percent, among the top gainers on the FTSEurofirst, after the company confirmed its CEO was stepping down in a move seen as a sign of the growing influence of top shareholder Vivendi.
Italian broker ICBPI said the resignation could fuel speculation about new cost-cutting at the Italian phone group. Continuación...