European banking stocks were among the hardest hit in a global selloff Wednesday as investors feared U.S. subprime weakness could spread to European mortgage lenders.
Germany's Deutsche Bank, France's Société Générale and Allied Irish Banks were all down over 2%, lower than their country'srespective benchmark indexes.
None of the components of the Euro STOXX Banks index were in positive territory, but the link between the European mortgage sector and America's remains a contested issue by economists.
Aegean Air (Up 23.7%) Shares in Greece's second-largest carrier soared on its debut in the Athens Stock Exchange, suggesting the airline could have increased its 136 million euros ($186 million) initial public offering.
AstraZeneca (Up 2.6%) Morgan Stanley re-rated shares in the FTSE-listed drug maker for the first time in two years to "overweight," claiming that the group's cash flow and earnings were underestimated by the market, Reuters reported.