European markets closed lower Wednesday, as investors awaited a key meeting between the European Commission and President Donald Trump and digested fresh earnings.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.3 percent with the different sectors moving mostly lower. Basic resources and autos were the worst performers given their link to trade. On the other hand, financial services and household goods finished higher supported by strong earnings. Private equity fund 3i rose 2.7 percent after a strong earnings report, while LVMH was up by 1.8 percent after posting robust results for the first half of the year.
Looking across the European benchmark, Swiss drug manufacturer Lonza lifted its outlook for the year, prompting shares to jump over 6 percent. Also Telefonica Deutschland rose about 8 percent after confirming it is on track to deliver its target for the year.
Deutsche Bank shares closed 1.4 percent lower after reporting a net profit of 401 million euros ($468 million) during the course of its second quarter. Furthermore, Indivior shares fell as much as 7.7 percent after reporting a 24 percent drop in second-quarter pretax profit.
Shares of Fiat Chrysler also fell following comments from the company's new CEO that its outlook had been lowered. The announcement came only two hours after news that former chief Sergio Marchionne had passed away. Fiat shares closed down by nearly 15 percent.
In the U.S. on Wednesday afternoon, stocks were lower as investors received the latest batch of corporate earnings. Dow-component Boeing reported better-than-expected earnings, but the stock fell more than 1.5 percent after the company issued full-year guidance that disappointed Wall Street.
Trump-Juncker meeting in focus
Investor sentiment is somewhat cautious ahead of a meeting between the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington. During the gathering, the two leaders are expected to discuss a range of topics including trade relations.
In June, the U.S. president threatened a 20 percent tariff on imported cars from the European Union. Last week, the EU’s Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in Brussels that if the U.S. imposed these levies, it would be “very unfortunate.” In addition, the commissioner announced that the EU was preparing its own list of countermeasures.