Growth worries drag European shares to 1-mth low

* FTSEurofirst 300 index ends down 0.7 percent

* Construction, financials weigh on global growth woes

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

By Joanne Frearson

LONDON, Aug 20 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares fell to their
lowest close in a month on Friday, below a key resistance level,
as worries about global economic growth weighed on sentiment,
with construction stocks among the worst performers.

Construction stocks continued their slide from Thursday’s
session when Holcim (HOLN.VX: ), the world’s second-biggest cement
maker, posted disappointing first-half earnings. Holcim,
Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA: ) and HeidelbergCement (HEIG.DE: ) slipped
2.1 to 2.6 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
shares ended down 0.7 percent at 1,029.59 points.

The Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: ), the euro zone’s blue chip
index, was down 1.2 percent at 2,643.98 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.

“We are having another one of those bad days,” said Peter
Dixon, economist at Commerzbank. “In thin trade investors are
looking at the numbers coming out of the U.S. in recent days and
are concerned that a double dip is on the horizon.”

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) tumbled to their lowest close in nearly a month
on Thursday after anaemic labour market and regional
manufacturing reports indicated the economy was slowing.

FINANCIALS WEIGH

Financials were also among the worst performers as investors
sold out of perceived riskier asset classes on growth worries.

Insurers Aegon (AEGN.AS: ), Prudential (PRU.L: ) and Axa
(AXAF.PA: ) fell 2.2 to 3.2 percent, while banks UBS (UBSN.VX: ),
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) and Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA: )
fell 1.9 to 2.5 percent.

“The market is falling on concerns about GDP growth,” said
Dean Tenerelli, fund manager at T Rowe Price. “It’s about the
effect of a U.S. slowdown and uncertainty and how earnings will
look in 2011, when austerity kicks in, though in general,
results have been good.”

However, BG Group (BG.L: ), bucked the trend and gained 6
percent, following a report of a possible 54 billion pound ($84
billion) bid for the company, of which analysts were generally
dismissive.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported rumours that oil major
Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) was considering a 1,600 pence per
share cash bid for BG.

Both companies declined to comment on the rumour.

Dana Petroleum (DNX.L: ) rose 6.1 percent after state-run
Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) made a hostile bid for the
company. [ID:nTOE67J00I]

Across Europe, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index was down 0.3
percent, Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) was 1.2 percent lower and
France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) was down 1.3 percent.

The Thomson Reuters Peripheral Eurozone Countries Index
(.TRXFLDPIPU: ) fell 2.4 percent.
(Additional reporting by Brian Gorman; Editing by Louise
Heavens)

Growth worries drag European shares to 1-mth low