Sharecast - "Investors continue to trim exposure to stocks as this week's earnings barrage gets underway. [Global parcel delivery company] UPS' forecast of a weaker economy is just the kind of warning investors don't want to hear, and has likely prompted a round of selling on renewed recession fears," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.
"With so much riding on this week’s figures, caution is still the watchword. US regional banks are under pressure again too, another sign that the rally’s foundations are weakening."
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.40% at 467.08 with nearly all major regional bourses lower.
Germany's Dax on the other hand eked out a gain of 0.05% to end the day at 15,872.13.
In the background, geopolitical tensions between the US and China over Taiwan continued to generate a fair bit of market commentary.
Investors were also increasingly monitoring the federal debt ceiling stand-off in the US.
In the corporate space, a slew of results and updates published across the continent.
Swiss pharma company Idorsia Ltd's (SIX: IDIA ) shares retreated as it reported weaker first-quarter earnings.
Consumer goods giant Nestle (NS: NEST ) (LON: 0QR4 ) made gains after narrowly beating sales estimates but warning of a 0.5% volume decline. The company said it had hiked prices by 9.8% in the quarter.
Primark owner AB Foods (LON: ABF ) slumped as it predicted flat profits this year as consumers tightened their belts amid the cost of living crisis.
Whitbread (LON: WTB ) jumped as its Premier Inn hotel chain reported a sharp rise in bookings as Covid restrictions were finally lifted.
Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis (LON: 0QLR ) gained after beating sales estimates and raising its full-year earnings outlook from a “mid-to-high single digit” increase to a “high single digit to low double digit.”
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