Bank stocks drag Europe down despite Asian gains (AP)

Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer listens during a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday Jan. 29, 2009. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe's largest oil company, said it swung to a net loss of $2.81 billion in the fourth quarter, as the price of oil fell sharply and it wrote down the value of inventory. (AP Photo/ Fred Ernst)AP – Bank stocks dragged European markets down Thursday, with investors booking profits on big gains earlier this week. The passage of a $819 billion economic stimulus package by the U.S. House of Representatives overnight failed to cheer European markets.

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