European shares finished sharply down on Wednesday. It was the sixth session in a row that they were lower.
London lost almost five percent and Frankfurt and Paris over 4.5 percent. Among the influences, new data that showed Germany’s economy slowing and fresh fears about banks’ balance sheets which hammered that sector. Deutsche Bank tumbled after revealing a fourth quarter loss of 4.8 billion euros. Trader Oliver Roth said: “It’s becoming clear that no-one is immune in this financial crisis. Deutsche Bank, which was always one of the bright spots, is now showing weakness, with big, dark storm clouds gathering in the sky over Deutsche Bank.” Separately, Deutsche Post said that as part of its deal to sell its Deutsche Postbank division it will take eight per cent stake in Deutsche Bank. HSBC’s shares hit at a seven-year low after Morgan Stanley analysts said Europe’s largest bank may need to raise up to 22.5 billion euros in a rights issue. Worries about the euro zone economy kept the euro near a one-month low against the dollar.