Europe Stocks Close Lower After BoJ Disappointment
European shares closed sharply lower on Tuesday, on ongoing concerns about the scaling back of monetary stimulus programs by central banks.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index closed provisionally down 1.2 percent at 1,179.40 points on Tuesday, after the Bank of Japan disappointed investors by failing to address market volatility in its monetary policy statement.
While analysts had widely expected no action from Japan's central bank, many had still hoped for additional steps to ease market turbulence. The disappointment was reflected in the yen, which strengthened to the 97 handle against the dollar.
"The BOJ is sending the message that at the end of the day it's a central bank and will not pander to the markets too much," said Vishnu Varathan, market economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank.
The move lower also came as the German constitutional court started a two-day hearing into the legality of the ECB's bond-buying program, which has played a large role in calming financial markets. The hearing comes after complaints that the program, known as Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT), undermines the ECB's independence and could make Germany liable for future bailouts.
Meanwhile, in Turkey, riot police moved into Taksim square and clashed with demonstrators for the 12th consecutive day. Turkish stocks, which traded higher in the morning, turned lower by the afternoon, and were down 2.3 percent by 1.45 pm London time.
European basic resources were the worst performing sector on Tuesday, after disappointing data from China at the weekend. Also, indexes were pressured downwards by Glencore Xstrata, which closed almost 4 percent lower on the news that Italian authorities were investigating transactions between Glencore and its plant in Portovesme.
(Read More: China Downturn Could Be 'Most Drawn-Out' Since '90s)
Shares in debt-laden bus and rail company FirstGroup closed nearly 19 percent down on Tuesday, following a shareholder meeting on Monday in which shareholders voted for a share issue to raise 585 million pounds ($900 million), in order to pay down borrowings. Outgoing chairman, Martin Gilbert, who is also the CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management, admitted mistakes had been made in the group's foray into the U.S. market.