European shares fall to 2-month lows on China concerns

viernes 11 de diciembre de 2015 12:03 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 4 pct this week

* Weak yuan, oil prices put pressure on market

* Old Mutual drops on South Africa links (Updates prices)

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni

LONDON/MILAN, Dec 11 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Friday on concerns that weakness in the Chinese yuan could weigh on the global economy, while the slump in oil prices added to the gloomy mood before a widely expected rise in U.S. interest rates next week.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 2 percent to its lowest level in around two months, and was on course for its weakest weekly perfomance since August. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index declined by a similar amount.

"We have the yuan at 4-1/2 year lows and that is causing unease in China and abroad. Last time the yuan fell like this, it caused a jolt for markets, and anyone exporting out to China, like the auto makers and luxury brands, will feel the pain from a weaker yuan," Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC, said.

That could hurt export-oriented companies in sectors such as automotive, luxury goods and commodities, which were among the top decliners in Europe.

Shares of French carmaker Renault, watchmaker Swatch, fashion house Hugo Boss and BHP Billiton were all down 3.3 to 5.8 percent.   Continuación...