A two-day recovery in European shares lost steam on Tuesday as the lack of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and political noise in Italy kept investors cautious.
While strength among tech stocks on the back of a record close for the Nasdaq overnight helped limit losses, financials were a drag with shares in RBS falling more than 3 percent after the government further cut its stake in the British bank.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.1 percent by 0721 GMT, while the UK’s FTSE fell 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX was flat.
An upgrade from Morgan Stanley helped lift Italian oil services firm Saipem, up 3.4 percent to lead gainers on the STOXX 600.
Among tech stocks, Dutch chipmaker supplier ASM International rose 2.69 percent, boosted by an upbeat note from Credit Suisse. The tech index was up 0.3 percent, hovering around its highest levels in 17 years.