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Europe: Shares retreat in early trading
LONDON European shares retreated in early dealing on Wednesday, under pressure from a continued rise in bond yields, though well-received results updates from telecom companies, bank Lloyds and miner Glencore helped limit the declines.
Europe's pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2 per cent by 0824 GMT, while Germany's DAX also fell 0.2 per cent.
Another milestone in US treasuries - the two-year bill yield US2YT=RR touched 2.282 per cent, the highest since September 2008 - was a fresh reminder to investors of the tightening rate environment that triggered recent sharp falls in global equities.
Telecoms was the only sector to gain, up 0.3 per cent, after Telefonica Deutschland and Orange both signalled some relief from the heavy downward pressure on prices of recent years.
Declines among European stocks were broad-based, however, with industrials and the more defensive health care and consumer staples sectors taking the most points off the STOXX 600.
Around halfway through earnings season, more than half of MSCI Europe firms have either met or beaten analysts' earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, with the bulk of beats concentrated in tech stocks and the energy sector.
Outside of the STOXX, British mid-cap roadside recovery group AA was a notable faller, down 21 per cent after cutting its dividend and saying that it expected lower profit in 2019.