European equities dragged down by commodities stocks and Next

jueves 24 de marzo de 2016 04:17 GYT

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - European shares fell for a fourth straight session on Thursday, tracking losses on Wall Street and Asia, with a firmer dollar impacting commodity prices while hawkish comments from another Fed official put pressure on the market.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard joined a chorus of officials in highlighting the risk of at least two rate hikes this year, with the first perhaps as soon as April. Markets imply only one increase and dealers suspect an orchestrated attempt by the Fed to shift that thinking.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index fell 3.2 percent, the top sectoral decliner, with shares in Anglo American, Glencore, Rio Tinto and Fresnillo down 3.6 to 7.0 percent.

The STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index also fell 1.2 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1 percent on the last trading day of the week, with volumes likely to remain thin ahead of the Easter holidays.

Next fell 7.4 percent after the British clothing retailer posted a 5 percent rise in annual profit but cautioned 2016 could be the toughest it has faced since 2008 as it anticipates a more difficult economic environment.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)