The pan-European Stoxx 0 was 0.12 percent lower with different sectors moving in opposite directions.
The food as well as beverages sector was the worst performer in late morning trade, down by more than 1 percent. however household goods were also struggling after downgrades in sector. In particular, Reckitt Benckiser dropped more than 2 percent after J.P. Morgan cut its target cost, hitting the bottom of the FTSE 100.
Looking at the European benchmark, Metro dropped to the bottom of the index, down by 8 percent, also on a ratings downgrade.
However, the main market driver was earnings. The manufacturing firm Rotork was up by more than 7 percent after strong first-quarter results. Swiss bank UBS reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings with net profit up 19 percent. The shares were, however, down by more than 3 percent at the open.
Philips also released its first-quarter earnings, with sales coming in at 3.9 billion euros ($4.79 billion). The stock rose 4 percent.