European shares ended lower on Thursday after previously gaining in six consecutive sessions.
Investors are awaiting the results of a stress test for banks in the United States.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 0.8% lower at 851.37 points after hitting a four-month high of 878.08.
Barclays fell 4.3%, Lloyds slumped 14.3%, Royal Bank of Scotland was down 9% and Societe Generale fell 9.8%.
Mining shares were under pressure as copper prices fell 1.8%. Zinc was down 1.4%.
In Frankfurt - the DAX index ended at 4804.1 points, down 76.61 or 1.57%.
In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3251.52 points, down 31.99 or 0.97%.
The Swiss market index closed at 5325.63 points, up 6.37 or 0.12%.
In London, the FTSE 100 closed flat at 4,4398.68. The index is up 27%since hitting a six-year low in March.
In Japan, the Nikkei climbed 408.33 points, 4.5%, to close at 9,385.70 - its highest close since 5 November.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 383.32 points, 2.28%, to finish at 17,217.89 - its best closing level since October last year.
In Australia, the recession S&P/ASX 200 index rose 71.6 points, 1.85%, to 3,938.7 points - its highest close since 11 November, 2008. The All Ordinaries was up 72 points, 1.87%, to 3912.1.
In New Zealand, the NZX50 was up 23 points, or 0.83%, to 2854.