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European shares decline at start of quarter's last week on China woes

Kitco News

Sept 25 (Reuters) - European shares fell at the start of the quarter's last week in volatile trading as worries about interest rates staying higher for longer and weakness in China-exposed shares weighed on the index.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) slid 0.8% by 0845 GMT on Monday.

China-exposed luxury stocks such a LVMH (LVMH.PA) and Kering (PRTP.PA) shed 1.8% and 3.2%, respectively, amid persistent concerns about growth in the world's second-largest economy.

Markets also assessed a slew of central bank decisions, where the Federal Reserve struck a hawkish tone, the European Central Bank signalled a pause in October and BritainSwitzerland and Japan were surprisingly dovish.

The ECB has reached the point where it needs to be wary of raising interest rates too high and should try to avoid a hard landing of the economy, said policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau.

Miners (.SXPP) slid 2.1% as metal prices weakened on higher inventories and fears of a higher-for-longer global interest rate regime.

Germany's DAX (.GDAXI) shed 0.9%, with latest data showing German business morale deteriorated in September, falling for the fifth month in a row.

German shares are the worst regional performers so far this quarter, down 4.5% compared to the 2.6% fall in STOXX 600.

"Not only is the economy slowing, but you also see that the rising energy prices are also very hard on the German economy, which used to be the growth engine of the euro zone," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

"Investors don't see how this whole picture is going to get better with the components that we have, the most important ones being the rising energy crisis, which may then impact the inflation in the wrong direction."

British gambling firm Entain (ENT.L) shed 10.1% after warning on online gaming revenue. Peer Flutter Entertainment slid 3.9%.

Meanwhile, SBB (SBBb.ST) jumped 27.8% after the Swedish property group divested 1.16% of its education subsidiary EduCo to Brookfield Super-Core Infrastructure Partners for around 242 million Swedish crowns ($21.7 million).

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) climbed 1.6% after Jefferies raised the drugmaker's rating to "buy" from "hold."

Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K

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