Europe stocks extend losing run on economic jitters

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.5 pct, down 1.4 pct on the week

* Euro STOXX 50 breaks key support level

* Dana surges on KNOC hostile bid, BG up on bid talk

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Aug 20 (BestGrowthStock) – European stocks fell in early
trade on Friday, down for the third straight day and tracking
U.S. and Asian losses after poor U.S. data brought fears of a
double-dip recession back to the forefront of investors’ minds.

At 0900 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,031.92 points, on
track to record a 1.4 percent loss on the week.

The Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: ), the euro zone’s blue chip
index, was down 0.5 percent at 2,662.78 points, piercing a key
support level, the 38.2 percent retracement of the index’s fall
from a high in April to a low in May. The index’s next major
support level is 2,584.75 points, the 23.6 percent Fibonacci
retracement.

“The latest data out of the U.S. sparked a flight to quality
by reviving fears of a double-dip recession, with investors
seeking refuge into safer government debt,” Louis Capital
analyst Bertrand Michaud said.

“But we’ll have to wait until the fall to get a clear
picture on the economic outlook.”

U.S. shares sank to their lowest close in nearly a month on
Thursday after the batch of macroeconomic figures fuelled
economic worries.

European financial and mining shares were among the top
losers on Friday, with Allianz (ALVG.DE: ) down 1.4 percent,
Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: ) down 1.1 percent and Xstrata (XTA.L: )
down 2.1 percent.

Oil major BP (BP.L: ) was down 1.6 percent. U.S. officials
said on Thursday the company likely won’t put the final plug in
its blown-out Gulf of Mexico oil well until September, while
scientists said the oil spill left a large plume of hydrocarbons
in deep waters, and those chemicals could be there for some
time.

Among the few stocks on the upside, Dana Petroleum Plc
(DNX.L: ) surged 5.5 percent after state-run Korea National Oil
Corp (KNOC) launched a hostile $2.9 billion bid. The news
fuelled recent M&A hopes in commodity-related sectors, with gas
producer BG Group (BG.L: ) rising 4.7 percent on market talk of of
possible bid interest.

Around Europe, UK’s FTSE 100 index (.FTSE: ) was down 0.4
percent, Germany’s DAX index (.GDAXI: ) down 0.6 percent, and
France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) down 0.5 percent.

The Thomson Reuters Peripheral Eurozone Countries Index
(.TRXFLDPIPU: ) was down 1.3 percent.

Construction stocks fell steeply for a second day in the
wake of Holcim’s (HOLN.VX: ) cautious outlook on Thursday. Holcim,
the world’s second-biggest cement maker, dropped 2.6 percent,
and Lafarge (LAFP.PA: ) was down 1.4 percent.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

Europe stocks extend losing run on economic jitters