European shares finished ahead, but trimmed their earlier gains as Wall Street slipped from its strong opening which was driven by new figures showing the pace of job losses slowing in the US.
Banks shares rose following the Bank of England’s decision to buy more government bonds with newly created money; that pushed down the British pound against the dollar. Belgian banking and insurance group KBC surged 20 percent after it returned to profit in the second quarter, following three straight quarterly losses. And positive earnings boosted insurers, particularly Britain’s Aviva. Oil companies suffered as crude prices fell sharply due to persistent concerns about oversupply, that is surplus stocks in the world’s largest energy consumers Miners slumped, tracking metal prices as investors paused to assess whether recent gains were justified given that economic recovery may not be as strong as prices indicated.