Europe shares sag for 4th day as miners resume rout

Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:04am EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.8 pct

* Euro STOXX 50 breaks below long-term trendline

* DAX down 1.2 percent, hits four-month low

* Mining sector down 21 pct ytd, slips into bear territory

* EADS surges after Daimler sells stake

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) - European shares fell for the fourth session in a row on Wednesday, led down by commodity-related shares.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.7 percent at 1,158.16 points, after falling to as low as 1,149.59 points, a level not seen since late February. The index has tumbled 3 percent since last Thursday.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.8 percent at 2,589.18 points, breaking below a positive trendline started in June last year. This sent a strongly negative technical signal and triggered automatic stop losses.

There was no obvious trigger for the falls beyond overall negative sentiment, setting off a series of rumours. Among the reasons given by traders for the move lower was talk of a sovereign downgrade in Europe, fresh tensions in the Middle East, a large programme trade by a leading investment bank as well as an erroneous trade on the DAX index.

The German blue-chip benchmark was the hardest hit, down 1.2 percent to a four-month low, while UK's FTSE 100 index was down 0.6 percent and France's CAC 40 down 0.9 percent.

"There are all sorts of rumours out there, but the bottom line is that this correction is not over yet. Below the trendline (the Euro STOXX 50) is signalling that the rally started last summer is over," a Paris-based trader said.

Miners featured among the top losers, with Lonmin down 4.1 percent, Randgold down 2.9 percent and Rio Tinto down 2.6 percent, falling along with metal prices on jitters about demand growth.

The STOXX Europe 600 basic resources sector index was down 2.4 percent. The sector index is now down 21 percent since the beginning of the year, with 20 percent retreat considered a bear market milestone.

Bucking the trend, shares in Airbus parent EADS gained 4.9 percent after Daimler sold its stake in the company, a key step in the overhaul of EADS's core ownership.

"The good news is that this disposal by Daimler now flushes out the major stock overhang risks for EADS," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a note.

Burberry surged 4.3 percent after the British luxury group posted a 10 percent rise in fourth quarter revenue, helped by strong demand for its more expensive products in China.

Tech group ASML also featured among the top gainers, up 6.2 percent, after saying it expects a pick-up in second-quarter sales.