Europe shares mixed as buoyant results offset by China woes
European equities opened slightly lower on Tuesday, with a buoyant set of corporate results offset by weak trade in Asia and a fall in commodities prices amid worries over China's growth outlook.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.1 percent at 0751 GMT, with benchmark indexes in France and Germany broadly in line. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent ahead of inflation data, expected to come in flat.
Traders said volumes were relatively muted in Europe, with surprisingly weak U.S. data released on Monday also weighing on investor sentiment.
"There has been a poor session in Asia and I don't think investors are getting involved ... Basic inertia and low volumes are dragging markets lower," said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets.
Pan-European equities are down some 7 percent since their April peaks, with Greece's debt drama and jitters over China's move to allow its currency to weaken balanced by the European Central Bank's policy easing and one of the best earnings seasons in five years.
Chinese stocks plunged on Tuesday, reigniting fears that Beijing may be intent on a deeper devaluation of the currency.
Outperformers in Europe included Wirecard and Denmark's Jyske Bank, up 4 to 6 percent, after they reported quarterly results.
Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli saw its shares hit record highs after better-than-expected earnings.
German utility RWE fell 1.9 percent after a broker downgrade.
Mining stocks were also hit by a dip in oil prices and weak metals prices.
The Athens stock market was in slightly positive territory a day before a German parliamentary vote on its new bailout plan. Leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel's German conservatives largely support the plan but top party officials want the IMF to take part, sources involved in party talks on Monday said.