Europe Markets

European Shares End Lower, Banks Drag


European shares snapped a two-day winning streak to end Tuesday 1 percent lower, led down by banks on persistent worries of more losses from a global credit crisis, and by weakness in technology shares.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended unofficially down 1.01 percent at 1,315.95 points.

Banks took most points off the benchmark, with HBOS down 1.9 percent, Natixis falling 2.2 percent, Dexia losing 2.8 percent and Deutsche Postbank losing 3.7 percent.

BNP Paribas fell 0.75 percent after Chief Executive Baudouin Prot said the bank may not match last year's investment banking revenues as the trading environment was "very adverse."

GlaxoSmithKline fell 3 percent on news of a warning letter from U.S. regulators that said the company failed to report some post-marketing data on its diabetes drug Avandia.

"I see a W-shaped economic cycle in the United States and Europe could also follow such a pattern, and since two weeks we may be in the second leg of the W," said Christophe Donay, head of economic research and investment strategy at Kepler in Paris.

Techs were weaker after a bearish update from Advanced Micro Devices, with German chipmaker Infineon tumbling 6.7 percent. Handset maker Nokia fell 1.2 percent.