European shares weaken as Bayer and commodity stocks fall
* Bayer falls on scrutiny of Xarelto drug
* DuPont/Dow Chemical merger talks lift Syngenta and BASF
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Wednesday to their lowest level in more than two months, weighed down by a drop at pharmaceuticals group Bayer and more pressure on commodity stocks.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.3 percent to its lowest level since late October, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also slipped by 0.2 percent.
Bayer shares fell by 3.4 percent as European and U.S. drug safety agencies probed whether a defective blood-clotting test device affected a trial involving Bayer's anti-blood clotting drug Xarelto.
Oil prices climbed back up on Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories dipped, while Japan posted rising machinery orders and copper prices also held their ground.
Nevertheless, many investors were cautious, citing persistent concerns about a slowdown in China and uncertainty over the impact of a likely U.S. interest rate hike in December.
China is the world's biggest consumer of metals, and fears about a slowdown in the country have knocked back commodity stocks this year. Continuación...