LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - European equities turned negative on Wednesday, as a fresh fall in the price of Brent crude oil hit energy stocks.
Brent sank 2.6 percent to around $65 a barrel and hit a five-year low on Wednesday as producers forecast lower demand for their oil next year.
The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index fell 1.3 percent to 279.48 points. Dutch oil services group Fugro slumped 12.2 percent.
The broader pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.1 percent while the FTSEurofirst 300 index also retreated by 0.2 percent.
“Crude oil is under punishment today once again on the back of the OPEC news. OPEC has cut its demand forecast for next year and this has unbalanced the demand and supply equation further and traders are not liking the sound of this at all,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.
Athens benchmark ATG equity index also underperformed for the second day in a row, falling 1.2 percent on concerns over Greece’s political outlook.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has brought forward to this month a vote on a new president, a gamble that could backfire by triggering an early parliamentary election and catapulting the leftist anti-bailout Syriza party to power. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Blaise Robinson)