* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.2 pct
* Deutsche Bank down 3.1 pct, warns tapering fears curb
* Commerzbank falls on asset disposal doubts
* Santander boosted in late trade by cost saving
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Sept 25 European shares ended little
changed on Wednesday as selloffs in German lenders Deutsche Bank
and Commerzbank, hit by concerns about
their balance sheets, were offset by a bounce in Spanish peers
Santander and BBVA.
Shares in Deutsche Bank fell 2.6 percent as the bank, which
has embarked on a deleveraging plan to shed 250 billion euros
($337.69 billion) in assets, warned of lower investment banking
revenue this quarter.
The bank blamed the fall in revenue on expectations the U.S.
Federal Reserve would begin to cut its bond purchases sapping
activity in the fixed income market.
"Most of the deleveraging is coming out of the fixed income
business," Piers Brown, an analyst at Macquarie Securities,
said. "People feel that there's a bit more pressure on Deutsche
going forward from the deleveraging plan."
Volume on Deutsche Bank's shares was 73 percent higher than
its average for the past three months.
Smaller competitor Commerzbank, which is trying to reduce
its 347 billion euros ($468.19 billion) book of non-core assets,
fell 6 percent in volume twice the average after telling
analysts no major divestment was on the cards until year-end.
They were among the top fallers on the FTSEurofirst 300
index of top European shares, which ended 0.1 percent
lower at 1,256.93 points. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX
50 index edged 0.2 percent higher to 2,927.35
The indexes recovered ground in late trade, led by Spanish
bank Santander, which rose 1.4 percent after saying it
aims for an extra 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) in cost
savings by 2016.
Peer BBVA rose 1.3 percent, helping Spain's Ibex
index climb 0.8 percent, the best performer among major
national indexes in Europe.
The FTSEurofirst 300 has slipped about 1.4 percent since
hitting a five-year high last week but it was still on track for
a 5.1 percent monthly gain, its best showing since October 2011.
The market has been fretting about next month's negotiations
in Washington to raise the federal debt ceiling to prevent a
default, as well as the outlook for the Federal Reserve's
stimulus measures after the Fed decided not to scale back the
measures last week.
"Investors are still confused about the Fed's monetary
policy, and now the focus is switching to negotiations between
Democrats and Republicans in Washington. After such a rally,
people are now very cautious," said Guillaume Dumans, co-head of
research firm 2Bremans.