European shares finished down for a third straight session near a two-week low.
There is renewed concerns about the health of the financial sector and worries the stock market rally has gone too far too fast. Some analysts are now talking about a correction being overdue. Another factor – US private employers cut 298,000 jobs in August, added to investors’ concerns over the direction of the world’s biggest economy. Banking stocks slid after a sharp sell-off in the United States on Tuesday and in Japan on Wednesday but also as investors took profits after a strong run in recent months. Insurers also lost ground as did mining companies as copper fell to a near two-week low. Danish shipping and oil group Moller-Maersk slumped as it will raise 1.25 billion euros through the sale of new shares Oil prices have been choppy because of inventory data and the weak US jobs figures.