Russia-exposed European shares hit by new sanctions
* Raiffeisen, Metro fall after sanctions on Russia
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.4 pct
* Fiat rises on media report of Volkswagen bid interest
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - European stock markets fell on Thursday as new Western sanctions on Russia and mixed corporate earnings dented investors' appetite for equities.
Stocks with high exposure to Russia were among the top fallers after the European Union and the United States increased sanctions over what Washington says is Moscow's failure to curb violence in Ukraine.
Among stocks exposed to Russia were Austrian bank Raiffeisen , which fell 2.8 percent, while German retailer Metro shed 2.2 percent and Italy's Unicredit declined by 1.3 percent.
The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index also fell by 0.7 percent. Energy companies are likely to feel the impact of the sanctions because Europe imports much of its oil and gas from the region.
"The Russia sanctions are having a bit of an impact on the European markets. We're entering into a mildly bearish phase. The financials and natural resources companies could be squeezed a bit," said Mike Turner, European equity derivatives broker at XBZ Ltd. Continuación...