European shares took a breath on Wednesday after approaching four-year highs in previous sessions. mixed data from earnings reports as well as the euro zone services sector have put pressure on European stocks.
Shares of Société Générale, the French financial services and banking company, rose 4.6% after announcing its plan to set aside three-quarters of cash to deliver planned payout this year.
Bank stocks have performed the best among their European sub-sectors with a 1% increase. The STOXX 600 struggled for direction after a 0.1% gain at the start of trading.
European stocks experienced a good surge this week amid rising hopes for a trade truce between the US and China.
German services sector data rose in October, euro zone business activity was better than last month, but is still on the verge of recession.
Shares of the UK retail sector rose 0.3% after better-than-expected earnings reports from the UK and the Dutch major supermarkets.
Shares of Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut fell 4% after weak earnings report. Shares of the Italian postal service also fell 1.2%. Shares of Norwegian Air fell 9%.