European shares finished down 1.74 percent, their lowest level in three weeks
It was the fourth straight negative session for the region’s bourses. They were hammered by mounting doubts over a quick economic recovery and investors fears that share values may have outpaced companies’ earnings potential. However the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares is up by about a third since reaching a record low in early March. Mining stocks were big losers, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Xstrata all down at least five percent. Oil companies fell in value as crude slipped to hover around $70 a barrel. Banks also lost ground Sectors seen as defensive made some gains pulling up Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Sanofi Aventis and Carrefour.