European shares end sharply lower dragged by commodity stocks, banks

miércoles 20 de enero de 2016 13:25 GYT

* FTSEurofirst at lowest since October 2014

* DAX down 24 percent since last year's peak

* Oil prices lose more ground

* Italian banks down on liquidity concerns (Updates with closing prices)

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni

LONDON/MILAN, Jan 20 (Reuters) - European stocks dropped on Wednesday as a relentless slide in oil prices hit world markets, with a leading European index falling to a 15-month low.

Concerns about the global economy and weak oil prices are making stocks too risky, several traders and investors said. Others looked to central banks to help calm nerves.

"Stress is high enough to trigger a reaction of monetary authorities to calm down nerves. And (ECB President Mario) Draghi tomorrow can do something," said Giuseppe Sersale, fund manager at Anthilia Capital in Milan. The European Central Bank holds its policy meeting on Thursday.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 3.3 percent to its lowest level since October 2014. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index < .STOXX50E> also fell by a similar amount.   Continuación...