July 17, 2014 / 7:25 AM / in 4 years

European shares pegged back by earnings, new Russian sanctions

EDINBURGH, July 17 (Reuters) - European stocks fell on Thursday, weighed down by mixed earnings reports after posting their best gains in three months in the previous session, while new Western sanctions on Russia also hit stocks exposed to the country.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.4 percent at 1,370.29 by 0707 GMT.

Austrian bank Raiffeisen fell 2 percent, suffering from its strong exposure to Russia after the European Union and the United States both increased their sanctions on the country.

Shares of Swiss drugmaker Novartis dropped 1.4 percent after second-quarter sales fell slightly short expectations, while UK-listed miner Anglo American also fell despite reporting higher iron ore and copper output for the first half of the year.

The world’s largest testing and inspection company, SGS , fell 3 percent after it lowered its growth outlook on Thursday and posted a smaller-than-expected rise in first-half net profit hit by weak demand in its minerals services segment.

Bucking the trend was ITV, up as much as 8 percent in early deals after Britain’s pay-TV group BSkyB sold a 6.4 percent stake in the broadcaster to cable group Liberty Global. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Lionel Laurent)

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