- The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished the session down 0.23%, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.
- It was a busy day for earnings in Europe with Societe Generale, Maersk and Adyen all reporting their results.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to announce that Germany will extend its coronavirus lockdown until March 14.
European stocks closed lower Wednesday as traders digest a slew of new corporate earnings.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished the session down 0.23%, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.
European stocks followed a cautious trend seen elsewhere overnight. U.S. stocks wiped out earlier gains and traded in the red on Wednesday as investors rotated out of major technology stocks. That was despite better-than-expected earnings from Twitter, Lyft, Cisco Systems, Mattel and Yelp.
Meanwhile, investors are also monitoring process on a Covid-19 stimulus package stateside. House Democrats on Monday unveiled the details of a relief proposal that included $1,400 direct checks with faster phase-outs than previous bills.
Earnings in focus
Societe Generale also reported early Wednesday morning, posting a net profit of 470 million euros ($570 million) for the fourth quarter of 2020. The French lender's shares climbed 2.9% by mid-afternoon.
At the top of the Stoxx 600, Dutch payment processing firm Adyen climbed 8.7% and hit a record high after posting annual profits that beat expectations.
Maersk shares dropped 6.8% despite posting a strong fourth-quarter profit and 2021 outlook, with analysts suggesting the Danish shipping giant's guidance was too conservative and its earnings "somewhat disappointing," according to JPMorgan.
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- CNBC.com contributed to this market report.