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Europe: Shares fall as financial stocks falter

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[LONDON] European stocks fell on Thursday as a drop in the shares of major financial companies such as Aegon and Credit Agricole weighed on the region's markets.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index declined by 0.7 per cent, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.6 per cent.

Aegon was one of the worst-performing stocks in the region, slumping 7.8 per cent after the Dutch insurer reported worse-than-expected first-quarter underlying pretax profit of 462 million euros (S$823.2 million).

Credit Agricole also fell 3.6 per cent after the French bank reported a 71 per cent fall in first-quarter net income.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index is down by around 9 per cent so far in 2016, with global stock markets having been impacted by concerns about weakness in China, the world's second-biggest economy.

REUTERS