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Europe closes lower; DAX sharply down on weak data

European shares closed largely lower on Tuesday, as investors weighed weak German data, corporate releases and geopolitical tensions in Ukraine, Gaza and Iraq.

Dismal data

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed provisionally 0.2 percent lower at 1,320 points. Most individual country bourses ended down.

The German DAX underperformed, closing unofficially down 1.2 percent, after dismal business sentiment data from ZEW. Economic expectations for August slumped to 8.6 points from 27.1 in July.

Read MoreGerman investor morale hit hard by Ukraine woes

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC 40
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IBEX 35
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Russia tensions monitored

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Russia had sent a 280 truck convoy to Ukraine carrying humanitarian aid. NATO warns the aid may be a disguised bid to invade Ukraine, following its annexation of the country's Crimea region in March. Ukraine's government fears the same, and has said it will not allow Russian aid vehicles to enter the country.

Read MoreRussia coordinating aid to Ukraine: Putin

Earnings mixed

The U.K.'s Prudential reported a 17 percent rise in operating profit for its first half of the trading year and said it was upping its 2014 dividend by 15 percent. Its shares closed around 2.2 percent higher.

Read MoreFed rate hike our biggest concern: Prudential CEO

Pandora shares outperformed, closing up over 8 percent, after the Danish jeweler announced a profit that beat market expectations.

However, Henkel shares ended around 5.3 percent lower after the German consumer goods group highlighted weak growth in Russia and the Middle East.

Shares of Dutch multinational Fugro ended more than 5 percent lower after a price target downgrade by UBS.

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