The pan-European Stoxx 600 index dipped just below the flatline in morning trade, with sectors and major bourses mixed.
Market players are taking a cautious stance as worries of a slowdown in economic growth linger. U.S. bond markets have in recent days signaled a U.S. recession may be coming, with the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield falling below that of the 3-month bill for the first time since 2007 last week.
Looking at individual stocks, Norsk Hydro climbed to the top of the pan-European benchmark after the firm said it had agreed with Brazil’s federal prosecutor to an assessment that could help it resume full production at its half-shut Alunorte refinery. Shares of the aluminum and renewable energy firm rose 3.6 percent.
Fiat Chrysler also rose above 3 percent, after a Financial Times report said the Italian-American automaker could be the subject of a takeover bid from Renault after separate merger talks with Nissan.
Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi delivered a speech on the health of the European economy and monetary policy. The central banker, who is nearing the end of his leadership, said that a temporary slowdown in growth does not necessarily mean a recession is coming.