European shares slipped slightly at the opening session on Wednesday following a drop in the previous day when a sell-off on the bond market weighed and support from a tax reform in the US faded.
While the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.3 per cent at 0835 GMT, gains among German utilities helped limit the DAX's .GDAXI decline to 0.1 per cent.
France's CAC .FCHI fell 0.5 per cent and the UK's FTSE .FTSE was down 0.2 per cent, reports Reuters.
Steinhoff tumbled 21 per cent as the scandal-hit South African furniture retailer starting losing credit lines from lenders.
Steinhoff said it was still unable to determine the scale of accounting irregularities which have wiped more than $10 billion off its market value over the past two weeks.
RWE was the biggest gainer on the DAX, up 1.8 per cent, after the CEO of its Innogy unit resigned just days after a profit warning that hit shares in both companies.
The top gainer on the STOXX was Stada, up 9.7 per cent, after the German pharmaceutical company agreed a new profit transfer deal with its new majority investor, Nidda Healthcare.
Dufry was another outstanding gainer, up 4.7 per cent, after activist investor Elliot took a 6.0 per cent stake in the company.
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