24 de febrero de 2016 / 11:50 / en 2 años

European shares hit 1-week low as commodities stocks slump

* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls around 2 percent

* Commodities stocks among the top fallers

* Wolters Kluwer gains after results

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - European equities fell for a second straight session to a one-week low on Wednesday, with commodities-related shares coming under further selling pressure as prices of copper and crude oil slipped.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 2.2 percent at its lowest level in around a week, extending losses from a 1.3 percent slide in the previous session.

Commodities-focused stocks bore the brunt of the sell-off, with the STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index dropping 4.9 percent after copper prices fell on persistent concerns about slowing demand in top consumer China.

The European oil and gas index also slipped 2.8 percent, tracking a decline in oil prices that were hit after top exporter Saudi Arabia ruled out production cuts and industry data showed a further build in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Shares in miners such as Anglo American, Glencore , BHP Billiton, and oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell all fell sharply.

“The upside potential for commodity prices and commodity-related stocks is limited as there is still a lot of excess supply of commodities. It’s not a good time to increase your exposure to the sector,” said Commerzbank economist Peter Dixon.

Standard Chartered also fell 4.1 percent, extending the previous session’s 6.7 percent drop after it reported a slump in profit, as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Nomura cut their target prices on it.

However, shares in Wolters Kluwer rose 6.4 percent, the top gainer in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, after the Dutch business information and publishing company reported slightly better-than-expected results as growth in North America and Asia Pacific offset weakness in Europe.

According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 55 percent of the companies on the European STOXX 600 index have met or beaten analyst forecasts with their fourth quarter results so far, while 45 percent have missed market forecasts.

Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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