European shares were flat Thursday in low volume trade after an Italian bond auction did little to attempt investors to buy as 10-year bond yields still remained near the 7 percent a level deemed unsustainable.

Although Italian bond yields fell from recent record highs at the debt auction, investors were little impressed as yields to buy 10-year paper still neared 7 percent - above 7 percent is a level near where other euro zone governments have been forced to seek bailouts.

Italy may have got the auction away, but it is still at a high rate. It is a period of paying off high debt payments and ultimate limited growth, Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital, said.

Trading is thin and the market is going to remain unpredictable and choppy. Bond markets are a true reflection of what is going on in the global economy.

Cyclical stocks such as miners featured among the top performers after posting sharp falls in the previous session as investors searched for bargains.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index <.SXPP> was up 0.3 percent after falling 1.9 percent in the previous session

By 11:12 a.m., the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares was up 0.04 percent at 983.89 points after being as low as 981.22, but volume was only 10.3 percent of its 90-day daily average.

(Reporting by Joanne Frearson; editing by Sophie Walker)