European shares finished down over one percent ending a five session winning streak.
Analysts said investors were taking profits from the run up in share prices over the last few days. Drugmakers and energy shares were big losers. Mining companies were down as base metal prices slipped from sharp gains in recent sessions – gold was also lower. And aluminium producer Alcoa said it will raise more capital, cut its dividend to stockholders and reduce spending. Early on banking stocks were hit by American Express saying credit card delinquencies rose further in February while Citigroup’s loan default rate was also up but the financial sector later recovered.