European shares finished down one percent with Ericsson’s poor results hitting the technology sector; Ericsson itself fell seven percent.
There was also some profit-taking after a recent strong run. The dollar pulled back from a 14-month low against the euro and a basket of currencies as global stocks fell. At one stage the euro went above $1.50 again. From the US there was mixed news: initial weekly claims for jobless benefits came in higher than expected, signalling the US labour market remains fragile. Separately, the Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators in the US rose to its highest level since October 2007. In Europe energy stocks were big losers as crude oil fell, softer metals prices put pressure on the mining sector and banks were also in the doldrums.