European stock markets edged lower in morning trade Wednesday after a disappointing start to the U.S. corporate earnings season and weaker trade in Asia.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.13 percent with all major bourses in negative territory. Investors were treading carefully after the U.S. corporate earnings season began on a sour note, with Alcoa reporting weaker-than-expected quarterly results. Other companies slated to report this week include CSX (due on Wednesday) and Citigroup, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, all due on Friday.
Ericsson shares were the biggest drag on European stocks, down around 18 percent, after the company issued a profit warning. The news also dragged down Nokia shares.
Lufthansa was near the top of the STOXX 600 after Kepler Cheuvreux raised its price target for the stock.
Elsewhere, Crude futures edged up on Wednesday but that failed to give markets a fillip. Crude prices slipped during the Tuesday U.S. session from one-year highs, amid rising doubts that the production cut agreement by OPEC would help reduce the supply glut. OPEC releases its latest monthly oil market report on Wednesday.
Meanwhile in Asia, markets slipped Wednesday despite higher oil prices, with Samsung Electronics shares falling after the company said it would permanently stop selling its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
In other news, investors will likely look ahead to the release of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes from the September meeting, which are expected to show an unusual division in the rate-setting committee.