European shares ended down on Wednesday as new figures show a plunge in energy and food prices slowed euro zone inflation in November adding to expectations the European Central Bank will continue to cut rates.
After the Federal Reserve’s surprisingly aggressive interest rate cut some investors were concerned it is running out of ways to fight the recession, but Frankfurt trader Oliver Roth said: “The Fed’s decision to reduce interest rates to almost zero is not an alarming sign, it’s a necessary step. The Fed still has room to manoeuvre, to act by buying further defaulted mortgages or investing in bonds. All these are normal steps.” Investors remain worried over more losses at major banks which hit the financial sector. BNP Paribas’ shares tumbled 17.2 percent after its investment banking division announced an 11-month loss, hit by rocky capital markets and exposure to an alleged massive fraud by US financier Bernard Madoff. The euro is strong against the dollar and the pound. OPEC’s output cut failed to boost oil prices.