European shares sink on Iraq concerns

PARIS Fri Aug 8, 2014 3:12am EDT

PARIS Aug 8 (Reuters) - European shares dropped on Friday, sinking for the seventh time in eight sessions on mounting geopolitical jitters after U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes in Iraq.

At 0708 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.9 percent at 1,302.48 points. The benchmark index has lost about 7 percent since mid-June.

Obama said on Thursday he had authorized U.S. air strikes to blunt the onslaught of Islamist militants in northern Iraq and began airdrops of supplies to besieged religious minorities to prevent a "potential act of genocide."

Shares in London-listed oil producer Afren dropped 6.3 percent after the firm said it has suspended output at its Barda Rash oilfield in Iraqi Kurdistan, the first field to shut in Kurdistan as Islamic State militants advance closer to the oil-rich region.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; editing by Natalie Huet)

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