LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - European stocks fell further in early deals on Monday as geopolitical jitters on the Korean peninsula trickled over from Asian trading, though shipping company Maersk and strong mining stocks helped limit losses.
The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.2 percent, starting the week on the back foot, with euro zone stocks and blue-chips down 0.2 to 0.3 percent.
The risk-off move hit banks the hardest, with RBS and Barclays among top losers, along with French lenders Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole.
After recent losses, the STOXX 600 was down 6 percent from its mid-May 20-month peak.
Strong metals prices helped cap benchmark losses, however, with mining stocks jumping 1 percent after London zinc rose to its highest in a decade on robust Chinese demand for steel.
Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Anglo American were among the top gainers.
Deal-making also boosted a few of the best-performing stocks.
Maersk jumped 5 percent to lead European gainers after the firm agreed to sell Maersk Oil to French oil major Total for $7.45 billion.
Fiat Chrysler shares jumped 3.5 percent after Chinese carmaker Great Wall asked for a meeting with the Italian carmaker with the aim of making an offer for all or part of the Italian-American auto group.
Fiat’s gains helped the auto and parts sector up 0.2 percent.
With the second-quarter European reporting season drawing to a close, 60 percent of companies have either beaten or met expectations, though share price reactions have been muted overall.
Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Kit Rees