European Shares Close Lower as Banks Dip

European shares ended down on Monday as fresh credit concerns hit banking shares, while technology stocks rallied as investors sought alternatives to the financial sector.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended down 0.57 percent at an unofficial close of 1,467.73 points.

Shares in HSBC were the largest negative weight on the broader market after Goldman Sachs analysts cut their rating on the bank. HSBC fell 1.9 percent.

The index has surrendered all its gains for the year and is on track for an 8-percent fall this month, which would make this the largest monthly slide since December 2002.

"Sentiment is clearly very fragile still in the market," said Darren Winder, head of macro and strategy research at Cazenove.

In other European markets, London's FTSE-100 index fell 1.3 percent, while Frankfurt's DAX shed 0.6 percent and Paris' CAC-40 fell 1.1 percent.

Among gainers was Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia, which rose 1.2 percent, and Nestle, which also gained 1.2 percent.