* FTSEurofirst 300 down 1.4 percent at 1,116.64
* VSTOXX fear gauge hits highest level since Feb.
* Worries grow over credit tightening in China
* Miners fall as GS cuts China growth
By David Brett
LONDON, June 24 Miners led a tumble in European
stocks on Monday, with one gauge of investor concern hitting a
four-month high on mounting worries over China's banking system
and the economic outlook for a stimulus-lite world.
By 1032 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 was down 16.04
points or 1.4 percent at 1,116.64. The index is now down about
11 percent from the year's May 23 high of 1,258.09.
The Euro STOXX 50 Volatility index, known as the
VSTOXX and a widely used European gauge of investor concern,
rose 3.4 percent to 24.86, a level not seen since late February.
A rise in volatility usually coincides with a fall in equities.
European shares have lost upward momentum and bond yields
have been rising since Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke
signaled that the United States would likely begin scaling back
its stimulus later this year.
"We continue to expect low equity returns for the
foreseeable future... Investors lack good trends at both the
macro and micro levels," Deutsche Bank's CROCI team said.
The team said a rise in bond yields will continue to have
negative effects on commodities and emerging markets, but it
remains bullish on the medium-term outlook for global equities.
Mining stocks sank as copper fell to a 21-month low,
with traders citing fears that demand would remain weak,
pressured by growth concerns and a tightening in credit supply
"The bears are in control. You're looking at a credit crunch
situation in China," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading
at Central Markets Investment Management.
Concerns over lending in China contributed to Goldman Sachs
cutting its GDP forecasts for the country for 2013 and 2014.
Goldman Sachs said: "The recent tightening of the interbank
market has sent a strong policy signal that the strong credit
growth earlier in the year will likely not continue."
Miners, which rely heavily on strong demand from the world's
biggest consumer of raw materials, shed 1.6 percent.
Kazakh-focused miner Kazakhmys fell 8.4 percent as
it ratified a bid of around 3 billion pounds for ENRC,
in which it is a major shareholder, by a trio of ENRC founders,
which was unchanged in structure from a proposal first tabled in
Falling equity markets and rising bond yields, which can
erode the value of assets on a balance sheet, continue to hurt
financials, with Aberdeen Asset Management down 2.2
Erste Group Bank slid 8.9 percent after it went
back on a promise and announced a share issue to shore up its
Telecoms featured prominently on the upside as heavyweight
Vodafone struck its biggest deal since 2007, agreeing to
buy Germany's largest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland
, for 7.7 billion euros.