European stocks finished firmly in the red on Tuesday, as strong performances in oil, mining stocks and sterling failed to electrify markets in the region.
The pan-European STOXX 600 wavered throughout trade, ending down 0.6 percent. Most sectors closed in negative territory, however basic resources ended sharply higher.
What's shaking up markets?
European investors took their lead from a shaky trading session in Asiaon Tuesday, despite all three major indexes in the U.S. closing at record highs on Monday. U.S. stocks continued the weak sentiment seen worldwide on Tuesday, with markets trading lower, as earnings and economic data took center stage.
A main key area of focus for investors worldwide— particularly in the U.S. — this week will be the U.S. Federal Reserve. On Wednesday, theFederal Open Market Committee is set to release the minutes of its July meeting, with analysts hoping the release will provide some insight as to why the central bank decided to hold off from raising interest rates in the summer month.
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On the data front, the latest figures out of the U.K. helped lift market sentiment temporarily on Tuesday, as official data showed that the country's consumer prices posted their largest rise in July since November 2014.
This comes amid warnings that the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union could stoke inflation. Inflation dropped 0.1 percent in July, yet compared to the same period in 2015, it saw a 0.6 percent rise, beating analyst expectations. Following the news, sterling rallied against the dollar, last trading around 0.7 percent up at $1.297.
On the oil front, prices came under slight pressure on Tuesday afternoon, after U.S. economic data revealed that consumer prices remained unchanged in July as the cost of gasoline fell for the first time in five months. Brent and U.S. crude were trading around $48.30 and $45.80 per barrel respectively.
Miners lift the STOXX 600; Linde jumps 10.%
Looking at European stocks, the miners were a key market mover on Tuesday, with basic resources trading sharply higher. The main focus in the sector was on BHP Billiton, who reported a record $6.4 billion annual loss on Tuesday, hurt by a dam disaster in Brazil and the commodity slump. Shares of the miner however were higher as underlying profit was better than analysts' expectations.
Meanwhile, Chilean copper miner Antofagasta reported a rise in first-half core earnings and said full-year capital expenditure would be lower than previous guidance, sending shares to the top of the STOXX 600, up as much as 9 percent, before paring slightly.