* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.5 pct
* Oil & gas stocks down 1.6 pct as Brent plunges new lows
* Next up 3.8 pct as Christmas sales trigger guidance hike
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Dec 30 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Tuesday, led by energy companies as Brent oil fell to a fresh 5-1/2-year low on persistent worries about a global supply glut.
The STOXX Europe 600 oil & gas index fell 1.6 percent at 0812 GMT, taking its loss for the year to 15 percent following a slump in oil prices since June, caused by ample supply at a time of still subdued global demand.
Explorers Seadrill and Tullow Oil were down around 3 percent on concerns oil major would continue to cut spending as crude prices fall.
Risk appetite was also hit by uncertainty surrounding Greece, which is heading to a January election that the leftist anti-bailout Syriza party is tipped to win.
Greek shares were flat after falling nearly 4 percent on Monday, when the parliament in Athens failed to elect a head of state, triggering the early vote.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,370.76 points at 0453 GMT, leaving it up 4 percent for the year in the last full trading day of 2014.
“Given the fact that we had such an aggressive run up, certainty in the week before Christmas, people are quite happy to take stuff off the table,” Giles Watts, head of equities at City Index, said.
British clothing retailer Next, up 3.8 percent, was the top performer on the FTSEurofirst after it lifted its full-year profit guidance on the back of a 2.9 percent rise in sales in the run up to Christmas.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Andrew Heavens)