European shares finished sharply lower, extending their losses as Wall Street headed deep into negative territory.
Technology stocks were among the biggest losers after analysts at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch cut their growth outlook for the global semiconductor industry. ASML, Europe’s largest maker of semiconductor equipment, tumbled along with Infineon, Nokia, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as did Intel, Marvell and Texas Instruments in the US. Banks also lost value, among them HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Agricole, Natixis, UBS and Credit Suisse And food producers slipped after Danone cut its sales growth target. Lower oil and metal prices have pulled down the shares of commodity producers. As equities fell the dollar rose pushing further away from recent 15-month lows. The relative strength of the dollar has knocked down the price of gold.