After a volatile day’s trading, European shares ended little changed, close to the 11-month high reached the previous session as investors pondered the possibility of a pullback after a six month rally.
Commodity stocks suffered as investors took profits and with metals and oil prices lower. Oil stocks were not helped by analysts at Credit Suisse saying they expect major US and European integrated oil companies to struggle to boost production over the next 10 years. Banks initially fell then picked up – HSBC, Banco Santander, UBS, Credit Agricole, Commerzbank and Natixis all rose. Even Lloyds reversed its earlier losses following a rethink on its plan to quit the British government’s insurance scheme. So-called defensive stocks gained including property, health-care, beverage and tobacco companies.