European shares fall, led by oil, Russia-exposed stocks

martes 16 de diciembre de 2014 08:22 GYT

* Rouble's slide fuels fears for Russian economy

* Raiffeisen Bank Intl hits record low, Carlsberg down 6 pct

* STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7 pct

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Shares in European companies exposed to Russia fell sharply to lead a broad decline on Tuesday, as the rouble plunged in value and concern grew about the state of the Russian economy.

Shares in Raiffeisen Bank International, which relies on Russia for profits, hit a record low after Russia's aggressive hike in interest rates failed to convince investors the central bank had turned the tide on a developing financial crisis.

Shares in other companies exposed to Russia also dropped. The brewer Carlsberg slumped 5 percent to a 2 1/2- year trough and German retailer Metro fell 3.5 percent.

The Russian economy has buckled and the rouble dropped because of Western sanctions and the falling price of oil, drawing comparison to the country's 1998 financial crisis, which saw the government eventually default on its debt.

"All markets will be governed by this (the ruble's slide)," said Justin Haque, a broker at Hobart Capital Markets. "It's 1998 again."   Continuación...