European shares finished slightly lower but the indexes had been much worse earlier in the day.
They closed down for the first time in seven sessions retreating from last Friday’s 11-month high. Financial and commodity stocks were the biggest losers. Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank suffered from having their shares downgraded by analysts at Nomura. This was all going on against a background of the US government deciding to impose special import taxes on tyres from China. Investors are worried that could spark a trade war with the United States’ biggest trading partner which also holds much of its debt. The dollar was weaker against the euro as was the British pound after the European Commission said the UK economy will contract more than previously thought this year.