European shares finished down with the financial sector one of the few bright spots.
Mining companies tracked metal prices lower and gold eased from its record high. Anglo American, Antofagasta, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation and Xstrata all lost value. The telecommunications sector featured among the biggest fallers. Telefonica first rose because of its upbeat business outlook, but then slipped after investors questioned whether that was attainable. The dollar has recovered some of its recent losses after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed must continue to prop up the US economy for an extended period but cannot do so indefinitely for fear of triggering an inflationary surge. Oil prices picked up as a positive demand outlook from the International Energy Agency outweighed the bounce in the dollar.