* FTSEurofirst down 0.2 pct, worst month since Aug. 2011
* UK stock market closed for holiday
* ENI rises after gas field discovery off Egypt
* Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
* Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - European shares suffered their worst monthly performance in four years on Monday, as concerns over a Chinese economic slowdown and a possible U.S. interest rate rise hit the region’s stock markets.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.2 percent to record a monthly loss of 9 percent - its worst monthly performance since August 2011. Volumes were relatively thin as the British market was closed for a public holiday.
Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent and also posted its worst monthly performance since August 2011. The DAX is currently some 17 percent below a record high reached in April.
The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index and France’s CAC both declined by 0.5 percent.
The Federal Reserve left open on Friday the possibility of a September rate rise, although several of its officials said the prolonged turmoil in financial markets might delay the first policy tightening in nearly a decade.
Weaker Asian markets, coupled with more volatility in Chinese stocks which have fallen sharply this month amid signs of an economic slowdown in China, also weighed on European shares.
“The Chinese markets remain in a sensitive position and most market participants remain bearish despite the positive swings experienced within the Shanghai Composite Index late last week,” said FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga.
Shares in ArcelorMittal declined 4.3 percent after the company’s South African division said it was planning to shut two mills in the country as the unit struggles with weak demand and lower prices.
French telecoms group Iliad also fell 4.4 percent, with some traders citing disappointment over its free cash flow levels, even though Iliad reported higher interim profits.
On the upside, Eni rose 1.5 percent after the Italian energy company announced the discovery off Egypt of the largest known gas field in the Mediterranean.
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Alison Williams)