SocGen woes hit Europe's shares
A profit warning from Societe Generale and new frictions over Chinese tech giant Huawei weighed on European shares on Thursday, as investors turned their focus to the start of the earnings season.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.1pc, having fallen as much as 0.6pc in early trade.
Investors worried that action against Huawei could further complicate trade talks between Washington and Beijing at a time when signs of a global economic slowdown are growing.
Some US politicians introduced bills on Wednesday that would ban the sale of US chips to Huawei and other Chinese firms that violate US sanctions.
"China is unlikely to shrug this off, which is creating a risk-off environment. Signs of retaliation from China could see stocks sink further," said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group.
Carmakers, which are highly sensitive to trade and have large exposure to both the Chinese and US economies, were the biggest losers on European markets yesterday.
In Ireland, the Iseq Overall Index fared better than other European peers, adding 0.1pc to 5,705.
Movers included Cairn Homes, which advanced 4.1pc to €1.26 after it said that it completed 804 homes last year compared to 418 in 2017. Its gross margin was ahead of estimates. There were a number of decliners, including forecourt retailer Applegreen, which was down 3.4pc at €5.64, and Permanent TSB, which fell 5pc to €1.52.
The UK's Ftse-100 fell 0.4pc. Germany's DAX shed 0.1pc. France's CAC-40 fell 0.3pc.