* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 flat
* Brisk trading volumes for second day in a row
* Greek stocks hammered by worries over aid package
* Bullish triangle pattern intact on Euro STOXX 50 chart
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Nov 8 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
closed 0.2 percent lower at 1,097.71 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.
Greek stocks tumbled, with Alpha Bank sinking 13
percent and National Bank of Greece down 11 percent.
Athens's ATG benchmark index dropped 3.8 percent,
although it is still up 17 percent year-to-date, the
second-biggest gain among euro zone indexes behind Germany's DAX
- up 22 percent so far this year.
Thursday's big faller was Germany's 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.
French peer Societe Generale featured among the
session's biggest gainers, however, adding 1.7 percent after
posting a rebound in trading revenue in the third quarter.
Arch-rival BNP Paribas gained 1.3 percent.
"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," said 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."
The STOXX euro zone banking index has surged 45
percent since late July, when European Central Bank President
Mario Draghi pledged to save the euro.
Around Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index ended down
0.3 percent, Germany's DAX index down 0.4 percent, and
France's CAC 40 down 0.1 percent.
Trading volumes - which have been anaemic over the past two
weeks, before spiking in late trade on Wednesday - were strong
again on Thursday, with volumes on the DAX and the CAC about
30-35 percent higher than the average daily volume of the past
The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index
ended flat, after swinging between a 1 percent gain and a 0.2
percent loss, signalling a lack of conviction among market
However, the chart for the blue-chip index shows a bullish
symmetric triangle pattern shaping up since mid-September, with
the index trading in a tightening range, and a break above the
triangle could quickly send the index rallying to March levels.
The index tested the lower band of the triangle in late
trading on Thursday, before bouncing back.
"I'm still buying on weakness. There are still concerns
about this tail risk stemming from the euro zone crisis despite
all the improvements on this front, so the 'repricing' is not
over yet," a Paris-based trader said.
"Investors are too pessimistic, the fiscal cliff will be
avoided. As long as 2,450 holds on the Euro STOXX 50, there is