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Europe: Shares set for eighth straight day of losses, Moller-Maersk drops

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[LONDON] European shares fell in early deals on Wednesday, set for their eighth day of straight losses, with sentiment hit by jitters ahead of the US presidential election next week and a fall in AP Moller-Maersk after results.

The STOXX 600 index dropped 0.8 per cent, hitting its lowest level since July 11, with all sectors in negative territory. Wall Street and Asian shares fell after polls showed that Republican Donald Trump was closing the gap on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race ahead of next Tuesday's vote.

Banking stocks were the top sectoral fallers, down 2.1 per cent and extending their losses from the previous session, with Italian lender Banco Populare and Danske Bank among the biggest decliners.

Shares in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena fell 6 per cent in early trade, triggering an automatic trading suspension, after the withdrawal of an alternative rescue plan for Italy's third-largest lender.

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Shares in container shipping firm AP Moller-Maersk slumped more than 7 per cent after the firm's earnings missed forecasts with a 44 per cent fall in third-quarter profit.

On the positive side, results boosted shares in Hugo Boss which jumped 6.5 per cent after beating third-quarter profit forecasts.