* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.5 pct, led by oil, mining stocks
* Vodafone dips over potential bid for Liberty Global
* Morgan Stanley positive on European equities for 2015
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Dec 1 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday, led lower by oil and mining stocks, as weak Chinese and euro zone economic data fuelled a rout in the commodities market.
Shares in Vodafone were the biggest losers among the region’s blue-chips, down 2.9 percent on talk it could bid for cable operator Liberty Global.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.5 percent lower at 1,385.27 points.
Last week’s sell-off in oil majors and oil services firms resumed as Brent crude oil tumbled to a five-year low below $68 a barrel, before bouncing back.
Royal Dutch Shell shed 0.5 percent, Fugro fell 3 percent and ENI lost 2.5 percent.
For Steen Jakobsen, chief investment officer at Saxo Bank, in Copenhagen, the slump in oil prices will have significant negative consequences on the U.S. shale gas industry.
“Shale gas and shale oil have added around 0.5 percent to GDP per year in my model, and I think it will now subtract 0.5 to 1.0 percent as projects become unprofitable and credit in the sector tanks,” he said.
The STOXX Europe 600 energy sector index has fallen into bear market territory, down 23 percent since late June. That amounts to wiping out market capitalisation of roughly $250 billion - more than the entire market value of Shell, according to Reuters data.
However, the drop in oil prices should have a positive impact on consumer spending and consumer-related stocks.
“The fall of $0.8 per gallon of gasoline since June 2014 is boosting U.S. consumer purchasing power by $100 billion,” Societe Generale strategists wrote in a note.
Mining shares also dropped on Monday, falling along with copper prices which tumbled to a 4 1/2-year low. BHP Billiton fell 2.2 percent and Rio Tinto dropped 1.2 percent.
Data showed that manufacturing slowed more than expected in China in November and stalled in the euro zone, where new orders fell at the fastest pace in 19 months.
Despite the recent weak euro zone data, Morgan Stanley strategists see European stocks rallying in 2015 on the back of a rebound in earnings, boosted by lower input costs as well as interest costs.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London; Editing by Toby Chopra)