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LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - European shares opened in negative territory on Friday, following in the footsteps of U.S. and Asian markets which were hit by the threat of a U.S. government shutdown and of further hikes in U.S. borrowing costs.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.4 percent at 0807 GMT and continued its slide towards lows not seen since the end of 2016.
Most European bourses and industry indexes were in the red after the S&P 500 fell overnight, heading for its worst quarter since the dark days of late 2008 and the Nasdaq continued its 19.5 percent slump from its August peak, just shy of what commonly constitutes a bear market.
On the bright side, Delivery Hero, the world's biggest online food delivery firm, saw its shares surge almost 20 percent after announcing the sale of its German operations to Netherlands-based Takeaway.com.
The latter also jumped 27 percent, on track for their biggest ever one-day gain.
Adding more gloom to the European banking sector which has already fallen 28.5 percent so far in 2018, Danske Bank , at the center of an international investigation into alleged money laundering, cut its 2018 outlook for the second time this year. The Danish lender was down 3.3 percent. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus; editing by Josephine Mason)