European shares hit lowest level since Oct. 2014

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - European equities fell sharply on Monday, extending the previous week’s steep losses, with cyclical sectors losing ground on persistent concerns about the pace of global economic growth.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 1.7 percent at 1,261.05 points by 0940 GMT after falling up to 1,259.27 poits, its lowest level since October 2014.

European sectors such as banking, autos, construction and technology fell 2.6 to 2.9 percent.

“It’s a difficult market environment. I would have hoped for a rebound in the market but after the last week’s actions, certainly this is off the table. The economic newsflow has to improve. So far it hasn’t on a decisive scale,” Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank in Munich, said.

European and U.S. shares fell sharply on Friday after U.S. jobs data showed employment gains slowed more than expected in January. Some recent economic numbers from China, the world’s second biggest economy, have also disappointed. (Reporting by Atul Prakash)