European shares turned negative on Monday before an auction of up to 3 billion euros of five-year Italian bonds that will test investors' appetite for the country's debt and could set the equity market's near-term direction.

At 9:26 a.m., the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was down 0.2 percent at 983.15 points after rising to a high of 990.22.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash)