European shares fell for the sixth consecutive session Thursday in low volume after German Chancellor Angela Merkel renewed her position against changing the role of the European Central Bank to ease the euro zone debt crisis.
Technicals, however, kept the market from falling further, with many banking stocks in oversold territory. The STOXX Europe 600 Banks index <.SX7P> 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 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was provisionally closed down 0.1 percent at 901.00 points in a choppy session.
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)