European shares finished slightly lower after hitting a nine-month high the previous day.
Investors paused to assess the state of the economy and analysts said there was also some profit-taking. But there was some support for share prices from news that pending sales of previously owned US homes rose at a faster-than-expected pace in June, advancing for the fifth month in a row. Banks slipped having enjoyed a solid run up over the past few weeks. UBS was one of the biggest losers as it posted its third straight quarterly net loss. Standard Chartered tumbled as it announced plans to sell new shares to raise 1.2 billion euros. Carmakers also retreated: BMW fell despite its better than expected second-quarter operating profit.