European shares fall further, Greek banks and auto stocks weigh

miércoles 18 de marzo de 2015 08:18 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.2 pct after losing 0.7 pct on Tuesday

* Greek banks, auto stocks among top decliners

* Markets await Fed's policy statement, due at 1800 GMT

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - European shares fell for a second day on Wednesday, with BMW leading carmakers lower after toning down its profit expectations and Greek banks falling on concern about the country's debt situation.

The Greek banking index fell 8.4 percent, dragged down by a 12 percent fall in National Bank of Greece and an 8.9 percent slide in Alpha Bank.

The European commissioner for economics, Pierre Moscovici, said Greece must stay in the euro zone, but only on the conditions agreed with euro zone finance ministers last month when it asked for an extension of its bailout in exchange for reforms.

"The awareness about the Greek debt situation has changed somewhat in the past two days," said Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank in Munich. "A Greek exit (from the euro zone) would certainly undermine the ECB's statement that the euro is irreversible."

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.2 percent at 1,580.10 points by 1115 GMT, led lower by auto stocks. Germany's DAX, down 1.1 percent, underperformed after several German carmakers fell sharply.   Continuación...