Tuesday was an up and down day for European shares.
They started lower, before popping back up to one-year highs, boosted by solid US company results from Pfizer, DuPont and Caterpillar. But then they slipped into the red again after the latest US government figures showed new construction of homes there rose by less than expected in September, held back by a plunge in new starts for multi-family homes. In addition, US producer prices dropped unexpectedly in September. Financial stocks were dragged down by news of a stake sale in Barclays by Qatar. Barclays’ shares dropped sharply by 4.7 percent. HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Agricole, Natixis and Credit Suisse also fell. Oil, which had been above 80 dollars a barrel in the US, with support from a weaker dollar, also fell by around one percent.