Mining and travel stocks led losses, while European shares edged lower on Wednesday as investors eyed a key U.S. inflation target later in the week, and continued waning confidence about imminent interest rate cuts.
The European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2%, with the mining and travel sectors leading sectoral losses, down 1.1%.
The basic resources index fell 1.1%, marking a third straight day of losses, according to Reuters.
Heavyweight energy stocks lost 0.9%, their fourth straight decline amid slumping oil prices.
The health index continued its strong trend, advancing 0.3% as it helped limit losses.
Short-haul container shipping rates between Europe, Asia and the Americas have increased significantly as carrying capacity decreases due to threats faced by cargo ships in the Red Sea.
The spot price for shipping goods in 40-foot containers from Asia to northern Europe rose about 173% to $4,000 in mid-December compared with levels before the revision, according to data published by Freightos.com.
The price to ship cargo from Asia to the Mediterranean also rose to $5,175, and some parties were demanding prices above $6,000 for periods starting in mid-January.
Prices from Asia to the US East Coast rose 55% to $3,900 for a 40-foot container.
Freightos' head of research explained that the price of services from Asia to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean region is more than double its level in January 2019, but remains below its peak during the corona pandemic.