Ukraine crisis hits European shares; auto and leisure lag
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.5 pct, Euro STOXX 50 falls 0.9 pct
* Sentiment subdued on reports of Donetsk assault
* Auto stocks lead declines on emerging market weakness
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday as fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine, the first major eruption of violence there since a Malaysian airliner was shot down last week.
Calls are multiplying in the West for new sanctions against Moscow over last week's downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, widely blamed on pro-Russian separatists. Russia challenged the accusations on Monday.
"The market is really worried about the enormity of the situation in Ukraine and, without even going into the sanctions, the rhetoric that escalates," Ashraf Laidi, chief global strategist at City Index, said.
"The market is going to be jittery ahead of the follow-up sanctions from the West as well as any reaction from Russia (and) may use it as an excuse for sell off."
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed 0.5 percent lower at 1,355.84 points. The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 fell 0.9 percent to 3,137.06 points. Continuación...