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You're reading: European shares end lower, banks worst hit
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Aluminium producer Alcoa Inc, perceived as a bellwhether to broader economic growth due to aluminium’s role in the production of many goods, kicks off the U.S. earnings season after the bell and investors fear growth might be slowing.

"We are at a point where we need more fundamental data to push the market higher, Alcoa is kicking off the results season today and we want to know if there will be some earnings relief," said Veronika Pechlaner, a fund manager on the Ashburton European equity fund.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally closed down 0.4 percent at 1,009.35 points.

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