European shares suffer fresh commodities-related blow

jueves 24 de marzo de 2016 05:38 GYT

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* FTSEurofirst index falls more than 1 percent

* Weaker mining and energy stocks put pressure

* Next slumps after painting cautious outlook

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - European equities slipped for a fourth straight session on Thursday, with weaker commodities prices and hawkish comments from another Fed official putting pressure on the broader stock 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 3.4 percent, the top sectoral decliner, as a firmer dollar made metals costlier for holders of other currencies and dragged down prices of major industrial metals. Shares in Anglo American , Glencore, Rio Tinto and Fresnillo fell 3.9 to 6.2 percent.

"Equity markets are moving into the Easter holiday long weekend on a more cautious note, with a stronger dollar following some hawkish Fed comments weighing on the commodities space," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.   Continuación...