European shares retreat at the open, trade tensions bite
European shares opened lower on Wednesday as continuing trade tensions and spreading worries about emerging market currencies cut investor appetite for risky assets.
At 0728 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 (STOXX) was down 0.4 percent, with losses spread across industry sectors and trading centres.
A number of corporate announcements triggered strong swings, notably in BioMerieux (PA:BIOX).
The French pharmaceutical group was the best performer on the index, up 8.3 percent after better than expected first-half results and a raised 2018 outlook.
In the same sector, Bayer (DE:BAYGn) fell 3 percent after reporting a disappointing 3.9 percent gain in underlying core earnings for the quarter.
Another French firm was also among the highest risers. Outdoor advertising group JCDecaux (PA:JCDX) added 6.8 percent after a rating upgrade by BofA Merrill.
Snuff and cigar maker Swedish Match (ST:SWMA) fell 5.2 pct after an institutional investor sold a stake of 4.3 million shares at a discount.