European shares finished sharply lower after a day of choppy trading.
Indexes slumped after new figures showed a drop in US consumer confidence in July; that has investors again worrying about the economy recovery and overshadowed news that US single-family home prices rose in May from April, the first monthly rise in nearly three years. Banking shares were hit by Deutsche Bank revealing a significant rise in the amount of cash it has setting aside to cover bad loans. Deutsche Bank itself was down over 11 percent. On the plus side, France’s Lagardere rose five percent after it said it had been cleared by the French stock market regulator of allegations of insider trading in shares of EADS. As shares slipped oil prices fell two percent, their first decline in ten days. The dollar is weak against a basket of currencies and at an eight week low against the euro.