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Europe: Weaker commodities drag European shares to 8-week low

[MILAN] A fall in commodity stocks and continued profit taking sent European shares to an eight-week low on Wednesday, but Airbus rallied after winning a big jets order.

A slide in crude oil prices on worries over the outlook for demand and weaker metal prices weighed on mining and energy stocks like Rio Tinto and Royal Dutch Shell.

Their falls sent the pan-European STOXX 600 index down 0.6 per cent to its lowest level since Sept 21.

The UK's top share index FTSE 100 declined 0.3 per cent and Germany's export oriented DAX index fell 0.7 per cent, weighed down by a stronger euro.

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Banks were also among the biggest losers, down 0.9 per cent, but falls were spread across sectors as investors continued to take profits following this year's rally.

The STOXX is still up nearly 6 per cent so far this year.

On the positive side, Airbus rose 3.4 per cent.

Airline pioneer Bill Franke placed a historic order for 430 Airbus A320neo-family jets in a deal which was worth US$49.5 billion at list prices.

Lanxess was the biggest faller on the STOXX, down 4.8 per cent following its earnings update.