LONDON Jan 8 European shares were led lower by bank and mining stocks as the market continued to consolidate recent gains, although low volatility signalled few expect a deeper correction.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had risen to a 22-month high last week, was down by 0.2 percent at 1,159.33 points. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.3 percent to 2,686.13 points.
"In the short-term, we will see a consolidation in the market and on certain sectors which have risen sharply in recent weeks, such as the banks," said Arnaud Scarpaci, fund manager at Paris-based Montaigne Capital.
Scarpaci added, however, that he expected the fall on European stock markets to be relatively small and minor and for equities to soon recover ground again.
Volatility on the E-STOXX 50, as measured by the Euro STOXX Volatility Index, remained near multi-year lows at around 16.80.