December 10, 2015 / 9:16 AM / 4 years ago

European shares slip, hitting a two-month low

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 pct

* Retailers, tech shares under pressure

* Aixtron slumps after order slashed

* Glencore rises on debt cut plan, lifts miners

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - European shares fell for a third straight session on Thursday, touching a two-month low, with retailers and tech firms under pressure even as commodity shares stabilised.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 fell 0.3 percent to 1,426.02, having touched its lowest level since mid-October. It is down 2.2 percent this week.

Volatility, a crude measure of investor fear, rose to hit its highest level in nearly a month.

The FTSEurofirst 300 is down around 6 percent in December, falling after the European Central Bank disappointed markets with only limited stimulus measures earlier this month.

“We think investors are going into 2016 with very little faith in the future,” strategists at Barclays said in a note.

“Overseas inflows have moderated considerably... (and) risk appetite is depressed.”

Sports retailer Sports Direct was the worst hit on the STOXX Europe 600 after it missed forecasts with its first-half results. It was down 8 percent.

Inditex also slipped 1.7 percent despite seeing a strong start to Christmas trading, with shares richly valued. The firm’s gross margin also slipped.

Some tech shares were also under pressure. Germany’s Aixtron , which provides equipment for the semiconductor industry, fell 40 percent after China’s Sanan Optoelectronics slashed its order for new-generation tools.

That sent shares of other semiconductor stocks, such as ASML and Infineon, slightly lower.

Among gainers, Glencore rose 10 percent after the miner and commodities trader announced a cost-cutting programme and new debt reduction forecasts.

Basic resources stocks rose 2.3 percent, the best performing sector, boosted by Glencore and by stabilising metals prices. The sector has been at the heart of most of the recent market weakness.

French utility EDF rose 9.6 percent after it raised its 2015 earnings outlook slightly, even though it said it would book additional charges this year of about 2.3 billion euros ($2.5 bln) after an asset review.

Chemical maker Syngenta rose 5.2 percent after a potential $130 billion merger of Dow Chemical Co and DuPont triggered talk there could be a renewed flurry of takeover bids for European rivals.

Syngenta’s stock was boosted after Benzinga reported that ChemChina was said to be considering a purchase of the company.

Europe bourses in 2015:

Asset performance in 2015:

Today’s European research round-up

Editing by Estelle Shirbon

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