European shares fall on Ukraine jitters; investors seek weekend protection

viernes 7 de marzo de 2014 13:44 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 1.3 pct

* Stocks exposed to Russia under renewed pressure

* DAX puts rise; German index seen most vulnerable

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Friday, amid growing tension over Crimea, as investors tried to shield themselves from the impact of any confrontation between Russia and Ukraine on the weekend.

Above-forecast U.S. jobs data briefly helped shares pare their losses. But they turned sharply lower again on reports that a U.S. warship was entering the Black Sea.

The U.S. military said the planned exercise was routine. Even so, the reaction showed how sensitive the market is to news about Crimea.

"People are a little bit nervous to go into the weekend with fully loaded long positions, given the ongoing Ukraine crisis," said Zeg Choudhry, the head of trading at Northland Capital Partners.

A deteriorating geopolitical situation last weekend saw stocks fall 2.3 percent on Monday. A 14.9 percent pick-up in volatility - a crude indicator of investor fear - indicated growing demand for protection, and thus a higher price to shield against future swings.   Continuación...