European shares end choppy session slightly down

PARIS Thu Nov 8, 2012 4:42pm GMT

PARIS Nov 8 (Reuters) - European equities ended slightly down on Thursday following a roller-coaster session marked by brisk volume, with rekindled worries about Greece keeping investors on edge.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares unofficially closed 0.1 percent lower at 1,098.34 points, unable to bounce back from Wednesday's sell-off.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said next week may still be too early to make a decision on granting further aid to Greece, reviving fears about the debt-stricken country.

Leading fallers across the region was Germany's second-biggest lender, Commerzbank, down 5.8 percent after it missed third-quarter profit forecasts and said it was unlikely to pay a dividend this year or next.

However, French peer Societe Generale featured among the biggest gainers of the session, adding 1.6 percent after posting a rebound in trading revenue in the third quarter.

"We're in consolidation mode, and the good news is that most of the gains made since the summer, especially in the banking sector, are holding on despite the absence of positive newsflow," Francois Chevallier, strategist at Banque Leonardo, in Paris.

"The absence of a big wave of profit taking shows that people are starting to think that the systemic crises are over. The U.S. housing market is recovering and Europe is now dealing with its debt problems."