European shares end lower on banks, commods

LONDON, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares fell on Thursday,
hitting their lowest closing in seven weeks, led lower by banks
and commodity stocks, while concerns over Greece fiscal health
also weighed.

Banks reversed earlier gains to feature among the worst
performers after credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s issued
an expanded version of a report which made negative comments on
the UK banking system.

BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: ), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) and
Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ) fell 1.3 to 2.6 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
shares provisionally closed down 0.9 percent at 1,005.08 points
after earlier being up as much as 1,027.63.

Also weighing on sentiment was U.S. durable goods data which
came in weaker-than-expected.

“The numbers coming through were not as strong as expected
particularly with the U.S. durable goods data. That has put us
on the back foot,” said Stephen Pope, chief global market
strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald.

“There is a sense that maybe we are going through some form
of mild corrective play. But I think it is just a retracement
rather than a full blown corrective move.”

Among commodity stocks, BP (BP.L: ) fell 1.2 percent, Rio
Tinto (RIO.L: ) lost 2.5 percent and Xstrata (XTA.L: ) dropped 4.3
percent.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca (AZN.L: ) lost 4.6 percent after it gave
a downbeat forecast for 2010. [ID:nLDE60Q0K3]

But top mobile phone maker Nokia’s (NOK1V.HE: ) soared 9.9
percent after fourth-quarter sales and profits beat
expectations. [ID:nLDE60R1BS]

Stock Analysis
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)

European shares end lower on banks, commods