London - European shares fell for the sixth
consecutive session on Thursday in low volume after German Chancellor Angela
Merkel renewed her position against changing the role of the European Central
Bank to ease the eurozone debt crisis.
Technicals, however, kept the market from falling further, with
many banking stocks in “oversold” territory. The STOXX Europe 600 Banks index
was up 1.3 percent, but had pared gains after the Merkel comments.
“The comments about the ECB was a clear message to the market not
to expect anything in the short-term,” Veronika Pechlaner, a fund manager on the
Ashburton European equity fund, said.
“The market is looking towards the ECB as it only has the firepower
necessary to help the situation. The question is how much systemic risk do you
get before something is done.”
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was
provisionally closed down 0.1 percent at 901.00 points in a choppy session.