European shares fall on U.S. Fed's grim view on recovery

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Aug 20 (Reuters) - European stocks were hit by a wave of selling in global equity markets on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled a long and difficult path of recovery for the world’s largest economy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 1.2% by 0712 GMT, with miners slumping 2.7% due to lower metal prices.

Other economically sensitive sectors such as banks and automakers and oil and gas dropped between 1.6% and 1.9%.

Chilean miner Antofagasta’s shares fell 4.3% after it posted a 22.4% plunge in first-half core earnings on lower copper sales, but said it would pay an interim dividend.

The losses were broad-based, with Wall Street indexes retreating from all-time highs on Wednesday after the Fed’s minutes from its latest policy meeting showed policymakers concerned that an economic recovery would need stimulus measures for a far longer period.

Among notable gainers, Intercontinental Hotels Group jumped 2.6% and France’s Accor gained 2.0% after a French newspaper reported the hotel operators examined a merger.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur