SAP was among the first to suffer on Tuesday .... Its shares down nearly two per cent on news of a nearly one billion dollars restructuring charge for Q1.
Europe's most valuable tech company also missed its 2018 revenue and profit guidance.
It set the tone for an edgy start to the markets.
The Dax slipping in and out of the red by mid morning .... Depressed by a series of profit warnings from Caterpillar, Whirlpool and chipmaker Nvidia.
News that the United States is pressing criminal charges against China's telecom giant Huawei also dragged on the mood.
With luxury goods, tech and auto stocks - all sensitive to trade frictions - some of the biggest fallers.
For once, though - even as the UK parliament approached another set of key votes - Brexit didn't appear to be adding to the anxiety - at least in Frankfurt.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF SPECIALIST FLOOR EQUITIES AT ODDO SEYDLER BANK, OLIVER ROTH, SAYING: "Brexit is not such a hot topic because there will only be decisions in the coming weeks so we are cautiously optimistic." There was less confidence on that front in London .... After UK housebuilder Crest Nicholson warned of a "difficult" H1 and posted a 15 percent drop in full-year profit.
And Germany had another big blue chip to worry about anyway: Siemens Healthineers marked down over four per cent.
Group sales rose in line with forecasts in the three months to the end of December.
But its diagnostics unit saw its earnings fall by almost a quarter.
Traders seeing pain in a healthcare division spun off from the parent company less than a year ago, rather than gain.