European shares end lower

London - European shares fell on Thursday, with phone stocks leading the way after a capital raising move at Altice to fund a US acquisition and technology stocks pressured by concerns over chip orders from Apple .

European shares changed direction as Wall Street opened lower, having earlier been supported by expectations China may do more to bolster its economy following a further decline in factory activity.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.41% while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index dropped 1%.

Significant impact

Concerns over the repercussions of an economic slowdown in China have helped to drive the pan-European index down almost 10% in the past three months, its worst quarterly drop in four years.

"Emerging markets are much more important for the global economy than they were during (their) previous crisis in 1997-98. It will be harder now to prevent the crisis from having a significant impact on Europe and the US," broker Equita said.

"Events in the last few weeks have convinced us stock markets firmly remain in a negative phase," it added.

Shares in Altice fell 9.3% as the telecoms group launched a tougher-than-expected debt and equity capital raising to fund its takeover of Cablevision.

Elsewhere in the sector Deutsche Telekom lost 5.2% and Telecom Italia declined 4.4%. According to analysts at Market Insight, concerns over the growing debt pile at Altice could weaken the M&A trend in the telecoms sector.

Technology shares were the second biggest sectoral faller with a 1.4% slide. ASML and Dialog led the decline after a report in technology website DigiTimes said iPhone chipmakers were concerned Apple would cut its chip orders for the fourth quarter.

Oil companies were the biggest gainer, advancing 1.3% as the price of crude rose.

Emissions tests

Glencore, whose shares have been hit this week by questions over its debt, resumed its slide with an 0.6% fall despite its assurances that debt-cutting plans remain on track.

The stock had rallied earlier on upbeat broker notes from Citigroup and Barclays and traders blamed the return of hedge funds and short-sellers for the renewed losses.

Volkswagen shares fell 1.3%, giving up initial gains, as the company said it would take longer than expected to investigate its rigging of vehicle emissions tests, raising the prospect of months of uncertainty.

Milan-listed shares in Fiat Chrysler rose 2.2% as brokers expressed confidence over a planned stock market listing of the car maker's luxury sports Ferrari brand.

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