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Europe shares close lower; Fed meeting eyed

European equities closed lower on Tuesday, as investors took a breather from a stellar rally in the previous session and looked ahead to a meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index closed down around 1.6 percent lower, with all major bourses and sectors lower.

The benchmark FTSE 100 closed provisionally down 1.3 percent, with the German DAX and the French CAC both unofficially down 2 percent.

Earnings mixed

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC
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IBEX 35
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BP pared losses to close 0.2 percent lower after it beat its own first-quarter profit expectations. Total shares closed around 1 percent higher after the french oil major also reported profit above expectations.

Read MoreBP profits fall as oil price bites

In other individual stocks news, German lender Commerzbank closed around 5.7 percent lower after it announced a capital hike.

Shares of U.K. restaurant company Whitbread closed roughly 2.6 percent lower as CEO Andy Harrison announced his retirement.

Fed ahead

Aside from earnings news, the Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting Tuesday, with an interest rates decision due on Wednesday. The announcement of the rates decision could offer more clues about when interest rates in the U.S. will be raised.

U.S. stocks traded mostly higher, recovering morning losses as investors eyed Apple earnings and the beginning of the Fed meeting.

However, the interception of a cargo vessel heading to the Marshall Islands by Iran added to market jitters.

UK GDP data

U.K. economic growth data came in below expectations on Tuesday morning. The economy grew by 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year, below forecasts of 0.5 percent, indicating that economic expansion was slowing.

The data could potentially be a setback for Prime Minister David Cameron who has touted the strength of the U.K.'s economic recovery in his bid to be re-elected in the general election on May 7.

Read MoreUK Q1 GDP disappoints at 0.3%, below forecasts of 0.5%

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