6 de enero de 2015 / 9:03 / en 3 años

European shares resume sell-off as energy stocks fall further

* FTSEurofirst 300 extend losses after sharp drop on Monday

* Energy stocks fall as oil price hits new lows

* Athens market closed on Tuesday but Greece still a concern

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - European shares resumed their sell-off on Tuesday after a slump in the previous session caused by worries over Greece, with energy stocks declining as the oil price hit new lows.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen 2.3 percent on Monday, retreated by 0.6 percent while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index -- which slumped 3.7 percent on Monday -- also fell by a similar amount.

The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index weakened by 1 percent as oil touched new 5-1/2 year lows on Tuesday, following a 5 percent plunge in the previous session as a slew of bearish factors added to supply woes.

“The lower prices could well be driving a lot of oil-producing nations into extremely tough economic times as the current price drops way below the cost price for these countries to actually extract oil from the ground,” said Alpari UK chief market analyst James Hughes.

Traders said European markets were also unlikely to make much headway until the political situation in Greece became clearer.

Investors fear that a Jan. 25 election in Greece could vault the left-wing Syriza party into power, raising the risk of a sovereign default.

Greece also remains under pressure from Germany -- the euro zone’s biggest economy -- to abide by the terms of its international bailout package. The Athens stock market was shut on Tuesday for a public holiday but the market fell 5.6 percent on Monday.

“I don’t think they will push Greece out of the euro zone, but just the sheer mention of this being a possibility is making investors nervous,” said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management.

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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