Russia rout hits European shares
* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.3 pct, down over 8 pct in 7 days
* Stocks with strong exposure to Russia tumble
* Energy shares fall along with Brent crude oil
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Dec 16 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Tuesday, extending their recent sharp slide, as a hefty Russian interest rate hike hit stocks with exposure to the country and the relentless drop in oil prices knocked energy shares.
Shares in Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International , which relies heavily on Russia for profits, slid 5.3 percent to a record low, after Russia's central bank raised its key interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent in an emergency move that failed to immediately halt the collapse in the rouble.
Danish brewer Carlsberg and Finnish tyre maker Nokian, which both have a strong exposure to Russia, fell 4 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.
"The fact that Russia's rate hike failed to stop the drop in the rouble is spooking investors and reviving systemic fears," said Alexandre Baradez, chief market analyst at IG France.
"Adding to that, the unstoppable fall in oil and the grim PMIs in Europe ... there's just no positive catalyst for the market in the short term, even though the situation on the medium term doesn't look that bad. Lower oil prices will boost economic growth and earnings at some point." Continuación...