Europeans shares finished slightly lower after two straight days of gains, but they had been in worse shape earlier in the session.
Banking and oil stocks suffered as investors took profits ahead of the start of the latest US quarterly earnings season kicking off with aluminium maker Alcoa reporting. Santander fell one percent following the record initial public offering in its Brazil unit. Standard Chartered, Barclays, Lloyds, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and UBS also slipped. Retailers were hit by a sales slowdown at UK supermarket group Sainsbury. Oil prices were temporarily boosted by lower inventories of crude in the US which supported the view that demand is recovering. But BG Group, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total all lost value.