European markets open to close, earnings, data

LONDON — European stocks were fractionally lower on Wednesday, continuing the cautious regional trend this week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.2% in early trade, with autos falling 1.4% while tech stocks gained 1.1%.

The mixed trade for European stocks comes after markets pulled back slightly on Tuesday, tracking risk-off sentiment globally as investors assess whether last month’s rally has further to run.

It’s a busy day for earnings in Europe, with Commerzbank, SocGen, BMW, Banco BPM, Siemens Healthineers and Veolia and Wolters Kluwer among the companies reporting before the bell.

Shares of Czech cybersecurity firm Avast soared 42% after the U.K.’s competition regulator provisionally cleared its $8.6 billion sale to U.S. peer NortonLifeLock.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, Siemens Healthineers fell 7.5% after its earnings report, while BMW fell 5%.

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Overnight, shares in the Asia-Pacific were mostly higher Wednesday, with mainland China markets leading gains despite Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, which is being closely watched by Beijing.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying tweeted that Pelosi’s visit was a “major political provocation,” while a spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said it would conduct “a series of joint military operations around the Taiwan Island from the evening of August 2.”

Those operations include long-range combat fire live shooting in the Taiwan Strait and conventional missile firepower test launching, the statement said.

On the data front, euro zone producer prices and retail sales data for June are set to be released.

— CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel and Abigail Ng contributed to this report.