European shares ended slightly lower having earlier been at their highest in almost four months.
London was the big exception – up over two percent – as it played catch up having been closed for a holiday on Monday. The FTSE 100 was also helped by a substantial rally by mining companies, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata, as metals prices rose on optimism that demand will improve as global growth recovers. Banks jumped after Standard Chartered posted record quarterly profits and on hopes that the capital shortfalls of US banks due to be revealed in this week’s government stress test results will prove manageable. The euro has been at a one-month high against the dollar and crude oil prices slipped more than one percent having earlier edged up towards 55 dollars a barrel.