European shares fall as concerns over Russia persist
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.8 pct, halts Tuesday's rebound
* Fears about brewing Russian financial crisis hit stocks
* Energy shares down 30 pct in six months
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Dec 17 (Reuters) - European shares fell in early trading on Wednesday, reversing part of the previous day's tentative bounce and hurt by another drop in oil prices as well as by Russia's brewing financial crisis.
The Russian rouble remained volatile on Wednesday despite foreign currency sales by the finance ministry.
The currency is still down almost 50 percent against the dollar this year. The slump has revived memories of the 1998 crisis when the currency collapsed and sparked a sell-off in European equities with Germany's DAX plunging nearly 40 percent in 2-1/2 months.
"The attack this week on the rouble has been quite violent, and the market is now pricing in a recession in Russia next year," said Arnaud Scarpaci, fund manager at Montaigne Capital.
"A lot of European companies exposed to Russia are under pressure. It's better to avoid names such as Metro, Nokian and Societe Generale, at least until things stabilise in Russia." Continuación...