European shares turned negative in afternoon trade on Wednesday, tracking weaker U.S. markets, as investors stayed concerned that measures taken by governments to revive the economy were insufficient.

Banks trimmed gains. Barclays (BARC.L) was up 5 percent, Lloyds (LLOY.L) gained 7.2 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) was up 3.6 percent.

At 1454 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 was down 0.2 percent at 717.80 points after hitting a high of 732.51 earlier. It fell 1.4 percent to a six-year closing low on Tuesday and is down 13 percent this year after falling 45 percent in 2008.

European telecom shares were broadly lower, with Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) down 3.3 percent, Swisscom (SCMN.VX) falling 2.1 percent and France Telecom (FTE.PA) declining 1.7 percent.

U.S. benchmark indexes .DJI .SPX .IXIC were down 0.6-0.9 percent lower on disappointment that President Barack Obama shed little light about how his administration would stabilise the economy in a major speech before Congress. (Reporting by Atul Prakash)