European shares slip on Greek political uncertainty

lunes 5 de enero de 2015 08:11 GYT

* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.4 percent

* Athens ATG index down 2.9 percent on political uncertainty

* Multi-year lows for oil and copper hurt commodities stocks

By Atul Prakash and Lionel Laurent

LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Concerns over Greece's future in the euro zone and a sharp decline in commodities stocks triggered by lower crude oil and metals prices kept European equities under pressure on Monday.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.4 percent at 1,357.71 points by 1137 GMT, with benchmark indexes in London, Frankfurt and Paris also falling 0.5 to 0.8 percent.

Energy and mining stocks fell the most, with the European oil and gas and the basic resources indexes falling 2.6 percent and 2.2 percent respectively after a supply glut sent oil prices to a 5-1/2-year low and copper hit a 4-1/2-year trough due to a stronger dollar.

With political uncertainty in Greece rattling markets before elections later this month, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the German government wanted Greece to stay in the euro zone.

The Jan. 25 election in Greece could vault the left-wing Syriza party into power, raising the risk of a sovereign default and severe losses for the European Central Bank on any Greek bonds it holds.   Continuación...