European stocks finished down nearly one percent.
Renewed concerns over the troubled banking sector prompted investors to take gains from the strong rally over last several weeks. The respected banking analyst Mike Mayo also downgraded 11 major US banks saying total losses on bank loans there are likely to be worse than during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Bucking the trend, shares of HSBC rose four percent, helped by a rush to buy the 14 billion euros worth of new shares the bank put up for sale. Mining shares – among the best performing stocks in Europe so far this year – trimmed their recent hefty gains and carmakers were lower.