European shares fell in early trading today, with energy stocks among the worst performers as fears over Greece's future in the euro zone and a fresh multi-year low for oil prices weighed on markets.
Political uncertainty was firmly in the spotlight ahead of Greek elections later this month, as German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the German government wanted Greece to stay in the euro zone.
The pan-European FTSEt 300 index was down 0.4pc early thisamorning, while the UK FTSE100, the German DAX and the French CAC 40 were down between 0.3pc and 0.7pct.
"It's the nightmare scenario where (Greek) contagion effects reach Italy, Spain and Portugal that should be worrying traders," said Jonathan Sudaria, dealer at trading firm London Capital Group.
The STOXX Europe 600 oil and gas index .SXEP fell 1.1 percent, to its lowest level in over a week, after U.S. crude and Brent futures dropped to fresh 5-1/2-year lows amid ongoing worries about a surplus of global supplies and weak demand.