European stocks closed on a weak note led by financial companies and retailers, on speculation an economic slowdown, widening credit losses and rising oil prices will curb earnings.
Swiss Reinsurance and HBOS Plc declined after analysts downgraded the stocks. Carrefour SA tumbled as the world`s second-largest retailer said soaring costs are outpacing price increases.
UK`s benchmark index, FTSE 100 fell 6.30 points, or 0.11%, to end at 5,983.90.
French benchmark index, CAC 40 declined 37.72 points, or 0.77%, to close at 4,874.97.
Germany`s benchmark index, DAX fell 50.62 points, or 0.75%, to close at 6,721.36.