European shares closed narrowly off their session lows on Tuesday, as U.S. earnings season kicked into high gear following a slew of upbeat earnings reports from Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson. U.S. shares were boosted by the news; the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index closed provisionally down 0.7 percent at 1,166.56 points.
"We've been warning on gold for a long time because the meteoric rise upwards was fueled by fear and fear is not a sustainable investment policy," said Karyn Cavanaugh, market strategist with ING U.S. Investment Management.
(Read More: Why Some Gold Bugs Are Still Hanging On)
Earlier in the day, investor confidence data for Germany showed a surprising slide in April, falling to 36.3 from 48.5 in March. As European stocks fell this sparked a buying opportunity, and the German DAX also moved off session lows.
In the U.K., business confidence among chief financial officers rose for the third consecutive quarter, according to a survey by professional services firm Deloitte. Sentiment was buoyed by rising equity markets, ultra-easy monetary policy and improving financial conditions, the survey revealed.
Also in the U.K., inflation remains unchanged at 2.8 percent, according to official March data released on Tuesday.
The Spanish treasury sold both 6 and 12-month bills at a bond auction on Tuesday morning. The bid to cover ratios for both bills were higher than at previous auctions and yields ticked lower.
In stocks news, utilities were the worst performing sector in Europe after the EU Parliament rejected a draft law to remove carbon permits from the emissions trading system.
European luxury goods companies closed 1.7 percent lower after LVMH reported that growth in its main fashion and leather goods divisions had slipped. However, revenue increased to 6.95 billion euros ($9.11 billion) in the first quarter, from 6.58 billion euros a year earlier, the company said.
European corporate earnings are forecast to grow 6.3 percent in 2013, according to Reuters.