Stocks are sagging at the open after the US president 'upped the ante' overnight, opening the door to even heavier US tariffs on Chinese made goods after Beijing responded to Washington's proposed list of tariffs on up to $60bn-worth of goods with its own.
After the close of markets in New York, Donald Trump instructed the US Trade Representative to consider whether $100bn of further sanctions would be "appropriate".
Withing the context of a research note focused on the metals market, that prompted analysts at Goldman Sachs to tell clients: "We acknowledge that there remains significant uncertainty and that tariff talks may continue to drive the market."
Against that backdrop, as of 0951 BST, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was lower by 0.51% or 1.91 points to 374.22, alongside a 0.62% or 77.99 point fall to 12,227.78 for the German Dax and a dip of 0.18% or 42.33 points to 22,927.17 on the FTSE Mibtel.
In parallel, euro/dollar was little changed, edging lower by just 0.03% to 1.22359.
Meanwhile, economic news out on the Continent was mixed.
France's trade deficit narrowed slightly in February, slipping from -5.4bn in January to -5.2bn in February (consensus: -5.3bn), as imports declined by 1.4% month-on-month, according to INSEE.
Separately, it was reported that France's current account deficit increased marginally in the fourth quarter to reach 1.2% of gross domestic product.
In Germany meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance said that the country's industrial production shrank by 1.6% month-on-month in February (consensus: 0.2%).
Spanish industrial output on the other hand bounced back by 1.6% during the same month, following a drop of 2.9% in January, INE said.
In corporate news, Saudi Aramco and Total were expected to ink a deal to expand their joint-venture refinery in the Kingdom, Reuters reported.
On the broker front, analysts at Barclays Research weighed in upgrading their recommendations on shares
of Unicredit and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena by one notch, to 'overweight' and 'equalweight', respectively.
However, their preferred lenders in that country were Banco BPM and Intesa.