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European stocks lose steam; earnings in focus

European stocks closed lower in choppy trade on Tuesday, with investors eyeing earnings and commodity prices.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended the day down by around 1 percent, having traded lower throughout the session.

All main bourses closed lower, with the German DAX finishing 1.1 percent lower. The French CAC too closed around 0.7 percent down, while London's FTSE 100 dipped to close 0.3 percent lower.

Peripheral bourses also fell, with Spain's IBEX 35 down 0.8 percent and Italy's FTSE MIB around 1.3 percent lower.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
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FTSE
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DAX
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CAC
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IBEX 35
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Earnings season continued in full swing on Tuesday, pressuring both U.S. and European stocks.

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In Europe, SAP report a 13 percent rise in second-quarter operating profit rose to 1.39 billion euros ($1.15 billion), the lower end of analysts estimates. Shares in the technology giant pared morning gains to close over 1.4 percent lower.

Shares in Remy Cointreau sunk to close around 2.5 percent lower, after the French alcoholic drinks maker said organic sales fell 9 percent between April and June compared with the same period last year.

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Swiss drugmaker Novartis said the strength of the U.S. dollar had hit profits. Second-quarter net sales fell 5 percent, but rose 6 percent in constant currencies. Novartis closed around 2 percent lower subsequently.

At the green end of bourses, shares of AkzoNobel finished around 1 percent higher after the chemical and paint company said second-quarter revenues were up 6 percent at 3.9 billion euros ($4.2 billion), mainly driven by favorable currency effects.

Big miners like Fresnillo, Antofagasta and BHP Billiton all finished in the green, with Fresnillo trading near the top of the Stoxx 600, after spot gold pared some of Monday's steep losses.

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In other news, Greece repaid 6.2 billion euros worth of debt to the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund on Monday, using a bridge loan it received from lenders while a bigger bailout deal is negotiated. Greece also re-opened its banks on Monday, signalling some return to normality for its financial system.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Greece repaid 6.2 billion euros worth of debt to the ECB and IMF on Monday.