European shares end lower as commodities weigh

LONDON, Aug 18 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares slipped on
Wednesday to close under a key resistance level, with oils weak
as crude (CLc1: ) falls on U.S. demand concerns, while BHP
Billiton (BLT.L: ) drops after a hostile bid for Potash (POT.TO: ).

Oil stocks were among the worst performers as oil prices
fell after a report showed a sharp increase in petroleum
inventories in the United States, with BP (BP.L: ), Royal Dutch
Shell (RDSa.L: ) and Total (TOTF.PA: ) down 0.8 to 2.6 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index
provisionally closed 0.3 percent lower at 1,053.17 points. The
Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: ) was down 0.3 percent at 2,730.54
points, retreating from the 50 percent Fibonacci retracement of
a drop from an April high to a May low tested on Tuesday.

“Investors are just range trading until the heavy volumes
come back in September,” said Joshua Raymond, market strategist
at City Index. “But there is some reaction to the individual
corporate news out there, like the BHP Billiton hostile bid for
Potash and the ENRC result.”

Miners were mostly lower. BHP Billiton slipped 3.3 percent,
after it launched a hostile $39 billion bid for Potash Corp,
while Kazakh miner ENRC (ENRC.L: ) fell 4.2 percent after the
company said it was wary about commodity prices in the second
half. [ID:nSGE67H031] [ID:nLDE6731FE]

Xstrata (XTA.L: ) bucked the trend and rose 1.4 percent after
traders cited market talk of bid interest from Swiss-based
commodity trader Glencore [GLEN.UL]. Both Glencore and Xstrata
declined to comment.
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)

European shares end lower as commodities weigh