European shares ended lower after having lost most of their earlier gains late in the session as Wall Street turned negative.
There had been a positive market reaction to news that first time claims for unemployment benefit in the US last week – at just over half a million – were at their lowest since early January. But then investors heard about a bigger than expected increase in crude stocks in the US. That kicked oil prices down over 2.5 percent and energy companies suffered. Also down were banks and miners, but the region’s telecoms were boosted by upbeat results and merger news. Iberia’s shares rose nearly 12 percent on a report of progress in merger talks with British Airways. BA 7.5 percent. As the dollar continues weak, gold briefly hit a fresh record high above 1,120 dollars an ounce.