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WPP’s warning of a potential growth slowdown made it one of the worst performers in broadly negative morning for European stocks, as indices across the continent retreated from the record highs hit earlier this week.

The world’s biggest advertising group reported record revenues in its 2016 results this morning, but said it had experienced a “relatively slow” start to the new year.

Shares in the group were down 6 per cent at publication time, to £17.96, putting them at the bottom of the FTSE 100.

The wider index slipped 0.3 per cent, though it has still risen more than 1.6 per cent for the week.

Stocks were similarly negative across the continent, with the Europe-wide Stoxx 600 index and Germany’s Dax both down around a third of a per cent.

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