* STOXX 600 down 0.8 pct
* Banks, miners weigh
* ING falls after disclosing criminal probe
* Gemalto plummets after results
(Recasts, adds quote and detail, updates prices)
By Kit Rees
LONDON, March 22 European shares fell to a
two-week low on Wednesday, extending losses from the previous
session as weighed down by basic resources stocks and
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.8
percent as global markets were hit by worries that U.S.
President Donald Trump could struggle to deliver on his
reflationary economic policies.
These doubts hit mining stocks, with a 1.7 percent
fall across the sector as the price of copper reached a two-week
low. The banking sector dropped 1.8 percent.
"Bank stocks were the biggest losers in U.S. markets, just
because they had been doing the best, and they were epitomising
the reflation trade with higher interest rates and higher
inflation with Trump-led spending," Jasper Lawler, senior market
analyst at London Capital Group, said.
"As the market's been questioning itself, or at least
unwinding ... that's been a sector that's been hit the most.”
Dutch lender ING Groep was among the biggest
fallers, down 5.7 percent after disclosing a criminal
investigation which could result in significant fines.
"It is at this stage hard to assess ING’s exact role in the
alleged wrongdoing, let alone estimate the size of any penalties
the group might face," analysts at KBC Securities said in a
"Penalties by U.S. authorities on similar criminal
proceedings have been very high in the past and we therefore
expect investors to react nervously to ING's involvement in this
Raiffeisen Bank also dropped 6.4 percent after
Immigon completed the sale of 9.92 million shares in the
The biggest individual faller was Gemalto, which
plunged more than 20 percent, on track for its biggest one-day
loss on record.
The Dutch digital security services firm plummeted after
cutting its profit forecasts, blaming a weak U.S. payments
business. Transactions system firm Ingenico also fell
Individual moves higher were relatively muted, though
safe-haven precious metals miners Randgold Resources and
Polymetal International were in demand, rising 0.4
percent and 1.1 percent respectively.
The broad risk-off sentiment likewise helped defensive
stocks such as Portuguese electric utility EDP and
Spain's Endesa, which were among top gainers. Europe's
utilities sector and telcos were both down just
(Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Andrew Heavens)