European shares extend sell-off; DAX hit hardest

viernes 14 de marzo de 2014 05:05 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 dips 0.5 pct, DAX down 0.7 pct

* DAX suffering worst week in nearly two years

* U.S. flows into Europe equities slow -Lipper

By Blaise Robinson and Francesco Canepa

PARIS/LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - European shares fell to five-week lows on Friday, with German blue chips among the worst hit, as tensions in Ukraine ahead of a weekend referendum unnerved investors.

Russia launched new military exercises near its border with Ukraine on Thursday, even as the U.S. cautioned that Moscow risked facing serious consequences if annexation was the outcome of a referendum planned for Sunday in the Crimea peninsula.

"I'm short the whole lot (of European equity indexes)," said Alex Chehade, senior dealer at spreadbetter Tradenext. "I'm long bonds and gold - there's a real flight to safety here."

German blue chips saw some of the biggest losses, with fertiliser maker K+S dropping 3.1 percent and HeidelbergCement losing 2.7 percent. Frankfurt's DAX index fell 0.7 percent, set to post a weekly loss of 4.2 percent, its worst weekly performance in nearly two years.

Shares of companies most exposed to Russia such as Finnish tyre maker Nokian Renkaat, and Danish brewer Carlsberg were also among the biggest losers, falling 1.5 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.   Continuación...