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European shares extend losses on Malaysian plane crash

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - European shares slumped on Thursday, sharply extending losses at the end of the trading day on news that a Malaysian passenger plane had crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed 1 percent lower at 1,363 points. Germany's DAX index was down by 1.1 percent while France's CAC fell by 1.3 percent.

"The news of a Malaysian airliner crashing near the Russian border clearly had a major impact on the market in late trading," Brenda Kelly, analyst at IG, said, citing investor fears over simmering geopolitical tensions in the region.

Interfax news agency reported that a Malaysian passenger airliner with 295 people on board crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border on Thursday. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

"(The crash) is having an impact on the market," said Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Lionel Laurent)