>> The festivities may be here, but the cheer is not. European shares diving as markets opened, after a profit warning from British online fashion retailer, Asos. It's spread fear that the season of goodwill will not deliver the good sales it's supposed to. Asos shares plunged over 40% after a week, November forced it to cut forecasts, the latest in a string of negative outlooks to come from the UK high street.
Until now, the worries have been about bricks and mortar, but markets are now fretting over online, too, with shares in Asos rivals Boohoo and Zalando also plummeting. The latter fell as much as 15%, a move that wiped a billion euros off the German giant's market value, suggesting the trend isn't just a British one.
Even those with sales that did meet expectations didn't escape the slide. H&M shares fell 3.8% as Europe's retail sector hit its lowest level in two and a half years. For markets, it's about Christmas fear, not cheer.