European shares closed slightly higher having erased much of their earlier gains.
Banks were stronger performers. Shares in UniCredit, Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation, rose 3.5 percent on speculation that it will carry out a capital increase rather than issue more expensive state-backed bonds. Banco Santander, Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas all advanced. Energy producers were a big drag. BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total lost value. Oil fell around four percent due to doubts over demand in the United States – the world’s biggest energy user – as the latest US government inventory data showed a unexpected build-up in stockpiles of crude.