European shares opened in negative territory on Wednesday as investors assessed whether worries about global growth warrant the cautious mood which has prompted Wall Street and Asian markets to trade sideways during the previous session.
Adding to the negative sentiment was the broader luxury sector being rattled by lingering fears of a Chinese slowdown.
Shares in France’s LVMH (LVMH.PA) fell 4.2 percent even as its all-important fashion and leather goods unit did better than expected in the third quarter.
Concerns over an ebbing in demand for branded goods among Chinese consumers have hit luxury stocks in recent days, as a trade war between Beijing and Washington simmers.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.3 percent by 0735 GMT while Germany's DAX .GDAXI retreated 0.4 percent and Paris' CAC 40 .FCHI lost 0.63 percent.
Britain's FTSE .FTSE fell 0.22 percent as reported progress in EU divorce talks prompted a rise in sterling, which gives an accounting drag to the overseas revenues of British blue chips.
In Italy, Milan's FTSE MIB .FTMIB lost 0.6 percent with heavy losses from luxury clothing company Moncler (MONC.MI), down 5.2 percent and Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI), losing about 2 percent.
Italian banks .FTIT8300 were off 0.3 percent after a Reuters report said European banking supervisors were stepping up their monitoring of liquidity levels following the rise in sovereign debt yields.