(Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday in thin trade, with banking stocks among the worst movers led by UniCredit as it commenced its rights issue, while worries about the start of the U.S.earnings season also weighed.
Aluminium producer Alcoa Inc, perceived as a bellwhether to broader economic growth due to aluminium's role in the production of many goods, kicks off the U.S. earnings season after the bell and investors fear growth might be slowing.
We are at a point where we need more fundamental data to push the market higher, Alcoa is kicking off the results season today and we want to know if there will be some earnings relief, said Veronika Pechlaner, a fund manager on the Ashburton European equity fund.
On Monday, London's FTSE 100 closed down 37 points to 5,612, Germany's DAX closed down 41 points to 6,017, and France's CAC 40 closed down 10 points to 3,128.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally closed down 0.4 percent at 1,009.35 points.
UniCredit was the worst performer, down 12.8 percent taking its fall since last Wednesday - when it spooked the market by pricing a rights issue at a huge discount - to 45.2 percent.
UniCredit reinforces the negative sentiment in the sector and highlights the capital raising needs of some of the banks, we have been reducing our exposure to financials, she said.