European shares finished up one percent.
They had been higher – at their best in two months – but slipped back on news that US retail sales fell 1.1 percent after having risen for the two previous months. That an indication that the recession is far from hitting bottom as mounting unemployment depresses consumer spending. US Producer prices were also lower than expected in March. The European bourses were boosted by banking stocks thanks to Goldman Sachs’ strong earnings. UBS, Barclays, BNP Paribas and UniCredit were all big gainers. Mining companies rose as metals prices are higher on speculation that demand from China will pick up. Philips shares climbed despite its first quarter net loss as it promised accelerated measures to cut costs.