European markets ended Tuesday solidly lower, as investors reacted to earnings news, a decline in oil prices and struggled to shake off weak data from China.
The pan-European STOXX 600 provisionally closed down over 1.07 percent, with all major indices and sectors in negative territory.
European stocks followed the negative lead set in Asia overnight after negative industrial profits data from the world's second-largest economy, China. Profits slipped 0.1 percent on year in September, from an 8.8 percent tumble in the previous month, but despite the monthly improvement, economists remained pessimistic.
U.S. stocks traded in a slightly lower range Tuesday, under pressure from economic reports and ahead of major quarterly earnings.
Back in Europe, energy stocks tumbled across the region as U.S. crude fell over 2 percent to $42.92, on course for a third week of losses. Brent was down 87 cents at $46.68 a barrel, over supply glut concerns. Meanwhile, Natural gas prices pared, rising up 1 percent at $2.084, despite having hit below $2 for the first time since 2012, earlier this week.
Earnings in focus, oil firms shaken up
Earnings continued to pour in from European corporates. Oil giant BP said it was cutting costs once again amid a low oil price. The company is now planning for around $60 per barrel price for Brent crude until at least 2017. It also plans a further $3-5 billion worth of asset sales next year. Shares failed to hold onto earlier gains, ending down 1.1 percent.
Other oil names sank even lower as the oil price continued to come under pressure. Tullow Oil saw shares off by 4.6 percent despite the company saying on Monday that it expects its oil project in Ghana to start producing oil next year and deliver "significant cash flow". Sbm Offshore and Subsea 7 closed significantly lower too.
Elsewhere, police arrested a 15-year-old boy in Northern Ireland on Monday over a cyber attack that may have led to the theft of data from among the 4 million customers of British broadband provider TalkTalk. The stock was hammered on Monday but saw a sharp rebound Tuesday, finishing up over 13 percent.
Central banks in focus; UK GDP disappoints
Two big central bank policy meetings will be in focus for investors. The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee kicks off its two-day meeting Tuesday and is scheduled to release its statement Wednesday afternoon. Investors will also eye the Bank of Japan meeting later in the week for any announcements on further stimulus.
In data news, U.K. preliminary third-quarter GDP (gross domestic product) rose 2.3 percent year-on-year, its lowest since the third quarter of 2013 and below analysts' forecasts. Sterling fell against the dollar.