European equities get caught in the rout of the rouble

miércoles 17 de diciembre de 2014 07:54 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct, halts Tuesday's rebound

* Hard-hit Greek bourse up as new political vote looms

* Fears about Russian financial turmoil hit stocks

By Blaise Robinson and Sudip Kar-Gupta

PARIS, Dec 17 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Wednesday, reversing part of Tuesday's recovery, as a new drop in oil prices and financial turmoil in Russia again weighed on the region's stock markets.

The slide by the Russian rouble, down 50 percent against the dollar this year, slowed on Wednesday as the government sold foreign currency to prop it up. The currency remained under pressure, though.

The slump has revived memories of 1998, when the rouble collapsed and sparked a sell-off in European equities. Germany's DAX, which has many companies that export to Russia, plunged nearly 40 percent in 2 1/2 months.

Brent crude oil also traded below $60 a barrel on Wednesday, near 5 1/2-year lows, as major oil producers signalled that they would maintain output despite a supply glut and faltering demand in Russia and Europe.

"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.   Continuación...