Plane crash over Ukraine hits European, Russian shares

Europe's main stock markets fell at the start of trading on Friday, as the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane in rebel-held eastern Ukraine continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

Russian shares and the ruble also fell.

In initial deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slid 0.40 percent to 6,711.39 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 dipped 0.51 percent to 9,703.67 points and the CAC 40 in Paris retreated 0.45 percent to 4,296.84 compared with Thursday's close.

European equities had fallen on Thursday, accelerating losses late in the day after the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in east Ukraine.

The disaster has raised tensions that have already been stoked by broadened US and EU sanctions, another factor weighing on European and Russian stock prices on Thursday and Friday.

In Moscow, the ruble-denominated Micex stock index fell by 1.67 percent in early trading, and the dollar-based RTS index was down 2.23 percent.

The ruble fell to 35.1 to the dollar and to 47.5 to the euro.

Shares in leading Russian airline Aeroflot were down 2.97 percent to 55.60 rubles after the company restricted some of its flights to Ukraine.

Shares in Russian oil group Rosneft, one of the main targets of new sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, fell further, losing 1.49 percent to 230.22 rubles.