* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct
* Afren suspends output from Kurdistan, shares weaken
* Nokian Renkaat hit by plummeting sales in Russia
* Monte dei Paschi falls after results
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Aug 8 European shares fell on Friday,
for the seventh time in eight sessions, on growing nervousness
after U.S. warplanes struck in Iraq for the first time since
American troops pulled out in 2011.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares
ended down 0.7 percent at 1,305.75 points, its lowest close
since March 24.
"There (are) just no buyers out there, and indexes keep
breaking support levels one after the other," FXCM analyst
Vincent Ganne said.
"People have been caught off guard. The geopolitical risks
have been treated as 'noise' by investors in the past few
months, but now they suddenly realise that it's much more than
Tensions between the West and Russia and the advance of
Sunni militants in Iraq have alarmed investors already weighing
the implications of weak European economic data and the prospect
of U.S. monetary tightening.
London-listed oil producer Afren said it had
suspended output at its Barda Rash oilfield, the first to shut
in Iraqi Kurdistan. Its shares fell 0.9 percent.
Underscoring the broad market concerns, U.S. funds investing
in European equities bled money for the eighth consecutive week
in the seven days to Aug. 6, their longest streak of outflows in
three years, Lipper data showed.
Fund managers, fearing that the outflows may have further to
go, were sticking to the sidelines.
"I don't see this trend reversing very quickly, so I would
not step in and buy European shares right now," Hampstead
Capital hedge fund manager Lex van Dam said.
Shares in Nokian Renkaat shed 6.5 percent after
the Finnish tyre maker reported a second-quarter operating
profit below expectations due to plummeting sales in Russia.
European airlines also fell, with Air France
losing 2.9 percent, and Lufthansa down 2.5 percent.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday
Moscow was considering banning European and U.S. airlines from
flying transit routes through Russian airspace in retaliation
for tougher sanctions from Europe and the United States.
According to data from Flightradar24, Lufthansa and Air
France-KLM would be hardest hit by a potential closure of the
airspace over Siberia.
Shares in Italy's third-biggest bank, Monte dei Paschi di
Siena, dropped 8.3 percent after it posted a
worse-than-expected loss in the second quarter as charges on
souring loans rose, underlining the challenges the bailed-out
lender still faces to turn itself around.
Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said on Friday it had
banned short-selling in shares of the bank, following similar
action by Italy's regulator Consob.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson and Francesco Canepa;
Editing by Ruth Pitchford)