European shares fell in low volume on Wednesday, halting four days of gains, led by banks after Italian lender UniCredit priced a rights issue at a massive discount, highlighting the struggle the sector faces to raise funds.
UniCredit was the worst performer in Europe, down 14.5 percent, after it launched a 7.5 billion euro (6.2 billion pounds) two-for-one rights issue at a discount of 69 percent to its closing share price on Tuesday.
We are short UniCredit, there is not enough money to support the banking sector, said Colin McLean, managing director of SVM Asset Management.
Italian banks are being impacted by Italy's funding problems and I do believe they will need further rights issues. I think eventually some banks will be quasi-nationalised.
The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was provisionally closed down 0.6 percent at 1,021.62 points after rising 4.5 percent over the past four days.
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)