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Financial traders work at their computers beneath a display of the DAX Index curve at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany. Photographer: Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg

(bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- European shares were steady on Wednesday at open, following Asia markets which struggled for direction.

The Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.1 percent, led by insurance shares, while the retail sector fell with Zara’s parent company Inditex being the largest decliner, down 4.5 percent, after Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation on the stock to underweight.

Italy remains a concern for investors ahead of next month’s budget talks and as the Italian government is said to be calling on the ECB to pass a new program of bond purchases, according to La Stampa.

“Markets have been calm for some sessions now and we remain cautious as we await for September and the start of the new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods that could trigger another selloff,” said Ricardo Gil, head of asset allocation at Trea Asset Management. “This week one of the main focus is Italy as its bonds keep raising and could at some point affect other assets. Investors will be watching at Thursday’s Italian bonds sale closely.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Macarena Munoz in Madrid at mmunoz39@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Beth Mellor at bmellor@bloomberg.net, Blaise Robinson

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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