Europe Shares Pare Gains After Record Rally

European shares fell on Wednesday as investors booked profits on a rally that had sent several markets to multi-year highs, led by weakness in the mining sector after metals prices fell.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed down 0.3 percent at 1,185.46 points, falling back after having earlier risen to a 4-1/2 year intraday high of 1,193.35 points.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources Index led fallers, down 1.5 percent, weighed by price falls across the base metals complex.

Central Markets senior broker Joe Neighbour said: "When everybody hears that the market is at new highs, the smarter money starts to shift out and makes a profit by selling to people who are looking to get in."

The earlier market rally was also fueled by merger and acquisition hopes, with UK telecom major Vodafone surging 6.5 percent on reports of tie-up talks with U.S. peer Verizon Communications.