Europe shares set for biggest weekly loss in 2-1/2 years

viernes 12 de diciembre de 2014 08:17 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 1.6 pct, bringing weekly loss to 4.9
    * $300 bln wiped off oil companies' market value since June
    * Pictet bearish on euro zone stocks for 2015

    By Blaise Robinson
    PARIS, Dec 12 (Reuters) - European stocks tumbled again on
Friday, leaving them on course for their biggest weekly loss
since May 2012 as shares in oil and oil services firms sank
further along with crude oil prices.
    The STOXX oil and gas index has plummeted 29 percent
since June. The sell-off has wiped roughly $300 billion off
market capitalisation of the sector, nearly the size of
Denmark's annual GDP.
    Saipem dropped 4.2 percent on Friday, hitting a
10-year low, while Royal Dutch Shell was down 2.4
percent, Repsol down 2 percent and CGG down
6.2 percent.
    Brent crude fell below $63 a barrel, its lowest
since July 2009, as concerns over a global supply glut and a
sluggish demand outlook persisted. 
    Crude has dropped more than 45 percent since June, forcing a
number of European oil services companies including Seadrill
 and Fugro to scrap dividends as oil majors
accelerate cost-cutting efforts.
    "We're reaching a point where there's a risk of seeing
corporate and sovereign defaults in energy-producing countries,
which could revive global systemic risks," said Christophe
Donay, head of strategy at Pictet, which has $441 billion in
assets under management and custody.
    "I wouldn't be surprised to see the IMF helping some of the
oil-producing countries next year... The key for asset managers
for 2015 is really to diversify and hedge portfolios."
    Pictet has recently sold all euro zone stocks in its
portfolios amid doubts about the European Central Bank's ability
to revive the region's economic growth, Donay said.
    At 1300 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 1.6 percent at 1,335.57 points. The
index has dropped 4.9 percent so far this week.
    It is up 1.5 percent in 2014, well below the 10 percent gain
by Wall Street's S&P 500.
    Around Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index was down 1.5
percent, Germany's DAX index down 1.2 percent, and
France's CAC 40 down 1.6 percent.
    Shares in Danish brewer Carlsberg also featured
among the biggest losers, down 4.3 percent as the Russian rouble
weakened again. Russia accounts for about a third of Carlsberg's
    Europe bourses in 2014:
    Asset performance in 2014:
    Today's European research round-up 

 (Additional reporting by Annabella Nielsen; editing by John