European shares hit 16 month low as financials falter
* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 2.1 percent
* Banking sector among top decliners
* Energy shares track weaker oil prices
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - European equities hit a 16-month low on Monday, extending the previous week's hefty losses, with cyclical sectors such as banking and automobiles bearing the brunt of a broader sell-off.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares fell 2.1 percent to 1,256.30 points by 1004 GMT, after falling down to 1,252.24 points, its lowest level since October 2014.
The STOXX Europe 600 banking index, down 2.6 percent, was among the top decliners. The index is down more than 16 percent so far this year on concerns about banks' earnings and profitability in a negative rate environment.
The cost of insuring the European financial sector's senior debt against default also climbed to its highest level since late 2013.
Shares in Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, HSBC and BNP Paribas fell 3.2 to 5.0 percent. Continuación...