European shares were slightly lower on Wednesday after lacklustre showings from Asian stocks and despite a number of bullish European earnings reports.
Shares in French bank Credit Agricole gained 1 per cent after forecast-beating profit, while Dutch chip equipment maker ASML added 2.7 per cent after raising its outlook for its third quarter new orders.
By 0720 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares was 0.16 per cent weaker at 1,376.5 points and the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index was 0.25 per cent down at 3,528.54.
European shares fell in the previous session as investors locked in gains after indexes hit near four-month highs on Monday as strong earnings continue to help the market recover from a sharp correction in May and June.
The economic agenda is busy later with highlights including US ISM non-manufacturing data for August and the Federal Reserve Beige Book.
"We've got the Fed's Beige Book due for release and any suggestion of a marked slowdown in the US economy could end up weighing on a global basis," said Matt Buckland at CMC Markets.
On the downside, shares in Swiss medical devices maker Synthes fell 3 per cent and dealers said UBS was placing 2.2 million shares while mobile handset maker Nokia was again weaker.