Banks lead European shares lower as US fine concern hits Commerzbank
* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.5 pct; Euro STOXX 50 down 0.4 pct
* Commerzbank falls 3.7 pct on U.S. settlement fears
* Austrian banks hit by CEE exposure (Adds detail, quote, updates prices)
By Francesco Canepa and Alistair Smout
LONDON/EDINBURGH, July 8 (Reuters) - Banking stocks led European shares lower on Tuesday as German banks became the latest lenders to be negotiating a costly legal settlement with U.S. authorities.
Euro zone banks fell 1.5 percent, the biggest sectoral faller, led lower by Commerzbank.
Shares in the German lender fell 3.7 percent as sources told Reuters that U.S. authorities had begun settlement talks with the bank and its larger rival Deutsche Bank, down 1.3 percent, over their dealings with countries blacklisted by the United States.
The New York Times reported that Commerzbank's settlement was expected to include at least $500 million in penalties. This compares to an almost $9 billion settlement struck by France's BNP Paribas in a similar case earlier this year.
Mike Reuter, a broker at Tradition, said a fine of around one billion dollars would be accepted by the market. Continuación...