Euro Stocks End Lower on Hawkish Trichet
European stocks ended lower on Thursday, falling for a second day in a row after ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet left the door open to an interest rate hike in July.
Banks were mixed, with Credit Agricole sinking 7.7 percent to a five-year low after France's biggest retail bank unveiled a much lower-than-expected price for the shares offered in its 5.9 billion euro ($9.10 billion) rights issue.
Royal Bank of Scotland rose 4.3 percent, boosted by a Citigroup rating upgrade to "buy."
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares unofficially ended 0.2 percent lower at 1,309.44 points.
"We still don't have much visibility and fears over the health of banks continue to resurface here and there," said Bruno Cavalier, economist at Oddo Securities, in Paris.
"But market sentiment has improved quite a lot over the past two months. We thought we were going to hell at that time. Now it looks more like the purgatory, but we're still far away from paradise."
>> Click here for full ECB, BoE Rate Decision Coverage