* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.9 pct, trades below 7-year lows
* Oil and mining stocks fall sharply, track commodity prices
* Credit Suisse surges after naming new CEO
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - European shares slipped further away from a recent seven-year high on Tuesday as a sharp decline in crude oil and metals prices hit commodities stocks, although a rally in Credit Suisse capped market losses.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.9 percent at 1,552.87 points by 1420 GMT, trading below Friday’s seven-year high of 1,579.93 points.
The Swiss lender surged 7.5 percent, the top gainer in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, after saying it had hired Prudential head Tidjane Thiam as the first African to lead a global investment bank, with the job of reviving a company reeling from U.S. penalties and under increasing regulatory scrutiny.
“Credit Suisse has had different issues throughout the years and someone with a diverse background could look at its strategy with a fresh pair of eyes,” said Sally Yim, vice president at Moody’s Investors Service.
However, weaker energy and mining sectors dragged down the broader stock market. The STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index fell 2.9 percent, the top sectoral decliner, while the European basic resources index fell 1.8 percent after a drop of 1.0 to 2.4 percent in crude oil and key metals prices.
“There is still some weakness in final demand for commodities. The world economy is growing, but momentum has faltered of late,” Edmund Shing, global equity fund manager at BCS Asset Management, said.
“The share price volatility shows that investors are uncertain about market fundamentals in the near term following a strong start to the year,” he said.
Galp Energia fell 6.8 percent after the Portuguese oil company cut its spending target for the next five years by around 20 percent amid low oil prices.
Tullow Oil, BG Group, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto fell 1.9 percent to 7.2 percent.
Among top gainers, German reinsurer Hannover Re rose 3.7 percent after raising its dividend to 4.25 euros per share from 3 euros by offering a special dividend payment after record net income for the year.
Wacker Chemie rose 5.4 percent after the German specialty chemicals maker said it was examining options for its Siltronic unit, including a stock market flotation and a sale to an investor.
Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 index was down 1.6 percent, Germany’s DAX index fell 1.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 was 1.3 percent. (Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris; Editing by Tom Heneghan)