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Europe: Shares sink in sustained selloff

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European shares sank on Thursday as a heavy selloff in US and Asian markets spread to the region and weak results from AB InBev and WPP among others underlined investors' anxieties about slowing earnings growth in an uncertain political landscape.

[LONDON] European shares sank on Thursday as a heavy selloff in US and Asian markets spread to the region and weak results from AB InBev and WPP among others underlined investors' anxieties about slowing earnings growth in an uncertain political landscape.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell as much as 1 per cent before paring losses slightly to trade down 0.7 per cent by 0730 GMT. Germany's DAX hit its lowest level since Dec 8 2016 in early deals.

The peripheral euro-zone indices of Spain and Italy bucked the trend, rising 0.3 per cent each in early trade.

Earnings dominated the day with some heavy losses.

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WPP shares sank as much as 22 per cent at the open after the advertising group cut its outlook, reporting a sharp downturn in trading. The stock hit its lowest level since December 2012 and was down 16 per cent by 0730 GMT.

The plummeting stock dragged the media sector down 3.2 per cent, set for its worst day since the Brexit vote selloff in June 2016.

AB InBev shares tumbled 8.1 per cent after the Belgian brewing giant halved its dividend due to commodity price inflation and volatility in emerging markets.

Sweden's Epiroc sank 11 per cent after the Swedish mining machinery maker reported third-quarter orders well below market expectations.

Among gainers was Swedish retailer ICA, up 10.6 per cent at the top of the STOXX after its third-quarter results.

Finnish heavy machinery firm Konecranes also gained 8.3 per cent after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings.

REUTERS