(Reuters) – European shares opened flat on Wednesday, hit by dour signals from Deutsche Bank, Daimler and Aston Martin as well as a slide in commodity-linked stocks, while investors awaited manufacturing and services data.
Shares in Germany’s biggest bank, in the midst of sweeping changes to reboot its business, dived more than 4% after it reported a bigger than expected loss, while those in luxury car maker Aston sank 23% after it cut its annual forecast for wholesale sales.
Positive signs on U.S.-China trade talks and the prospect of a supportive message from the European Central Bank on Thursday offset those blows, however, along with some positive earnings such as those from French carmaker Peugeot and German chemicals maker Covestro AG.
By 0712 GMT, the pan-European stocks benchmark STOXX 600 was steady compared to the previous close.
Basic materials slid 1.5%, with a fall in iron ore prices and a Credit Suisse downgrade to ‘underperform’ taking shares of Rio Tinto down 3%.
Shares of Infineon, STMicroelectronics, and Siltronic rose between 1.6% and 2.6% after results from Texas Instruments Inc hinted that a global slowdown in microchip demand would not be as long as feared.
Chip stocks helped the technology sector rise 0.8%.
(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)