(Corrects first paragraph to clarify KBC is a Belgian company,
LONDON Dec 11 Banks led European shares
lower for a second day on Tuesday on the back of political
turmoil in Italy, with Belgian lender KBC Groep the top
faller after it sold a fresh batch of shares.
By 0814 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 was down 2.12
points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,132.41.
Banks were again the worst performers on the index, although
losses were more subdued in than the previous session, as
investors took stock of the potential for political instability
in the euro zone after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti
announced he would step down after the 2013 budget was agreed.
Ian Williams, equity strategist at Peel Hunt noted that
while yields rose on Italian bonds after Monti's announcement,
moves were not as steep as had been feared and contagion had
failed to spread to other peripheral bond markets.
"If that is a sign that asset markets are growing less
vulnerable to euro zone political machinations moving into 2013,
it would be welcomed by the majority of investors," he said.
Belgian bank and insurance group KBC led fallers,
down 6.7 percent after it said late on Monday it had raised
roughly 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion) to shore up its
balance sheet at the same time as paying back state aid to
(Reporting by David Brett; editing by Simon Jessop and Nigel