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LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - European shares opened slightly higher on Wednesday as a flurry of fresh third-quarter results came in, though politics kept Spanish equities in negative territory.
By 0712 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent, after losing 0.3 percent on Tuesday.
After opening in line with other bourses, Madrid’s IBEX eased back with a 0.3 percent slide. Catalonia and Spain’s central government are set for a political collision after the region refused to renounce a symbolic declaration of independence.
On the corporate earnings front, companies failing to meet market expectations saw their shares come under pressure.
The biggest STOXX fallers included Finnish telco Elisa , German online retailer Zalando and Dutch paints maker Akzo Nobel which lost 4.3 percent, 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.
The UK’s Reckitt Benckiser was down 1.3 percent after the maker of Durex condoms said it would split into two business units after a third-quarter fall in sales prompted it to cut its full-year forecast.
European third quarter earnings are expected to grow by 4.5 percent from the same period in 2016, which would be an increase of 1.3 percent excluding the energy sector, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S estimates. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus, Editing by Kit Rees)