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Banks and technology pull down European markets

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Banks and technology pull down European markets

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European shares finished the session down on Thursday after having earlier been boosted by unexpected news of a British shopping spree last month with UK retail sales soaring in May by 3.5%.

Among the negative influences – Citigroup’s chief financial officer warning of more subprime mortgage-related write-downs at the bank and disappointing manufacturing figures from the US.

Banks were big losers. HBOS fell 7% as it warning of a 1.25 billion euro writedown in its first half as a fall in house prices put pressure on bad debts.

Technology stocks fell sharply amid rumours of a profit warning at semiconductor equipment maker ASML.