European shares slide to 2-month low; Portuguese stocks slump

jueves 10 de julio de 2014 07:33 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 1.2 percent

* Portugal's PSI share index down 4.4 percent

* Banks top fallers; banking index down 2.7 percent

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Thursday as southern European indexes tumbled on weak data from Italy and growing concerns over the financial health of Portugal's largest listed bank.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares hit a two-month low, dropping 1.2 percent to 1,346,72 points as of 1104 GMT, taking its losses since early this month to about 4 percent.

Portugal's PSI share index fell 4.4 percent, lagging all other European benchmarks after shares and bonds of Espirito Santo Financial Group, the chief shareholder in Banco Espirito Santo, were suspended over "material difficulties" at its parent firm ESI. Banco Espirito Santo shares dived 15.8 percent.

Italy's FTSE MIB fell 2.5 percent after data showed Italian industrial output posted its steepest monthly fall since November 2012 in May, casting doubts over the country's economic recovery.

"The BES situation is a tangled story of cross holdings and unexplained debts which has highlighted the risks that still exist in some European banks," said Lorne Baring, managing director of B Capital Wealth Management.   Continuación...