Oils, miners and banks lead European shares lower

* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 1.3 pct

* Oils, miners down as commodity prices fall

* CRH plummets after profit warning

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

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, Aug 24 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares fell to their
lowest level in a month on Tuesday, tracking a decline on Wall
Street, with commodity producers suffering on worries about the
strength of the economic recovery.

At 0832 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was down 1.3 percent at 1,022.73 points, having
risen 0.7 percent in the previous session, boosted by M&A
developments.
The European benchmark soared 62 percent between hitting a
lifetime low in March, 2009, and the end of the year. But the
rally stalled on worries about European debt levels and the
strength of the economic recovery, and the index is down 2.2
percent in 2010.

The downbeat outlook for the economy affected the demand
prospects for producers of commodities, which were among the
biggest losers on Tuesday.

Oil prices (CLc1: ), further hit by higher than expected
inventories and a stronger dollar, were near their lowest in
seven weeks
Total (TOTF.PA: ), ENI (ENI.MI: ), Statoil (STL.OL: ) and BP
(BP.L: ) fell between 0.9 and 1.7 percent.

Cairn Energy (CNE.L: ) fell 2.1 percent, as its first-half
results included disappointing news about its drilling
activities in Greenland. [ID:nLDE67N06V]

Chilean miner Antofagasta (ANTO.L: ) fell 2.6 percent after
trimming its annual production target, as it posted an expected
near doubling in first-half earnings per share on higher
production and a rebound in prices.

Elsewhere in the sector, Vedanta Resources (VED.L: ) fell 5.3
percent, after India’s environment ministry rejected a plan by
the mining group to mine bauxite in an eastern state.

“Obviously you’ve also got the uncertainty about whether or
not the Indian government will give the go-ahead to acquire
Cairn India (CAIL.BO: ),” a trader said.

Other miners to fall, as the price of copper and other
metals weakened, included Kazakhmys (KAZ.L: ), Lonmin (LMI.L: ) and
Xstrata (XTA.L: ), down between 2.2 and 4.1 percent.
In a broad market decline, the heavyweight banking sector
was also lower. Lloyds (LLOY.L: ), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: )
and UniCredit (CRDI.MI: ) fell between 1.8 and 2.5 percent.
Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ), Germany’s DAX
(.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC40 (.FCHI: ) fell between 0.9 and 1.3
percent.

Analysts said U.S. housing data, due at 1400 GMT, would be
closely watched.

“If the U.S. housing data today is weak, that could take the
market down,” said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven
Investment Management. “In light volumes, it’s reacting to every
bit of news, and the next economic news could be bad. M&A news
has had a disproportionate effect.”

CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES FALL

Shares in European cement and construction firms tumbled,
hit by a profit warning from Ireland’s CRH (CRH.I: ), which sent
its stock down 14.4 percent. [ID:nLDE67M1L7]. It was also
affected a downbeat note from BoA-Merrill Lynch on Lafarge
(LAFP.PA: ), down 4.1 percent.

Elsewhere in the sector, HeidelbergCement (HEIG.DE: ) was down
4.8 percent while Holcim (HOLN.VX: ) fell 2.5 percent to a 52-week
low, continuing falls from last week when it posted
forecast-lagging results.

The Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: ), the euro zone’s blue-chip
index, fell 1.5 percent to 2,621.07. The next key level is
2,584.75, the 23.6 percent Fibonacci retracement of its drop
from an April high to a May low.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) slipped in one of the lightest volume sessions
of the year on Monday as investors took refuge in defensive
shares after the latest corporate M&A failed to soothe concerns
the recovery is stalling.

A return to growth in consumer spending allied with buoyant exports helped
spur Germany’s economy to its fastest rate of expansion since
reunification in the second quarter, official data confirmed on
Tuesday. [ID:nLDE67N08V]
(Additional reporting by Dominic Lau; Editing by Simon Jessop)

Oils, miners and banks lead European shares lower