* FTSEurofirst 300 index ends 0.9 pct lower
* Commodity stocks feature among top losers
* Aggreko, SES issue profit warnings
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - European shares fell to a new one-week low on Friday, with companies such as satellite operator SES slumping after a disappointing update and commodity shares tracking a sharp decline in metals and oil prices.
SES shares fell 6.6 percent, the biggest decliner in the blue-chip FTSEurofirst 300 index, after cutting its full-year revenue and profit guidance following a delayed satellite launch and a decline in earnings from fixed data customers due to the strong dollar.
The European basic resources and energy sectors fell 3 percent and 1.3 percent respectively after copper prices tumbled to a six-year low on worries about Chinese demand, while oil neared four-month lows after data showed a contraction in China’s factory sector.
“The consensus view does appear to now be for a slowdown in China, and this will subdue demand for the metals group in general,” said Juliet Cohn, portfolio manager at Principal Global Equities, which manages more than $330 billion.
“We are currently finding companies with greater upside to estimates elsewhere in the market.”
Germany’s DAX fell 1.4 percent, led by Germany’s BASF, down 4.6 percent, after its earnings missed expectations. Volkswagen was down 2.7 percent after Manager Magazin said the company’s China manager was readying a cost saving programme because the carmaker’s full-year group profit could fall by more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) due to weak demand in the country.
Aggreko plummeted 12 percent after issuing a profit warning and Spain’s Abengoa tumbled 9 percent despite saying it would act to prevent speculative trading on its debt, a day after losses for its bonds, credit default swaps and stocks.
The FTSEurofirst 300 closed 0.9 percent at 1,564.03 points after falling to 1,562.57, the lowest in more than a week. The index fell 2.8 percent this week after gaining in the previous two weeks.
Analysts said that the market weakness was mainly due to a sharp decline in commodity stocks and less because of news on Greece, where talks on tying up a new bailout deal failed to start on Friday as had been expected, with officials blaming security worries for delaying the negotiations.
Some companies got a boost from their positive earnings updates. Telecom major Vodafone rose 2.8 percent after results that showed improvements across major markets in Germany and Britain.
France’s Thales rose 7.5 percent to an all-time high. Its first-half operating profit rose by a larger-than-expected 18 percent to 473 million euros ($519 million), buoyed in part by a tighter grip on costs in its defence and security business. (Additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Digby Lidstone)