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Europe: Shares knocked back by banks and miners

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European shares fell on Thursday, led down by a renewed drop in banks and miners, with Societe Generale and Rio Tinto both under pressure after disappointing with their latest results.

[LONDON] European shares fell on Thursday, led down by a renewed drop in banks and miners, with Societe Generale and Rio Tinto both under pressure after disappointing with their latest results.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 2.1 per cent at 1,215.46 points by 0815 GMT. It rose 1.8 per cent in the previous session, snapping a 7-day losing run.

Banks were down 3.4 per cent, among the top sectoral fallers. The sector is down over eight per cent so far this week as concerns over profitability in a low-growth, low-interest rate environment have knocked confidence in the sector.

The biggest faller in the bank sector on Thursday was Societe Generale, down 7.1 per cent after it posted a lower than expected rise in fourth-quarter net income, hit by an additional 400 million euros (US$450.4 million) which it set aside to cover litigation costs.

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Rio Tinto dropped 7 per cent after the miner posted an annual loss and scrapped its promise to maintain or lift its dividend annually for this year onward due to a tough outlook.

The basic resources sector was down 4.6 per cent.

REUTERS

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