Europe Markets

Europe ends trade mixed; earnings, commodities eyed


European equities closed mixed on Tuesday in what had been a choppy trading day, as investors shifted their attention to earnings and tried to shake off concerns over China and commodities.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index finished slightly higher, up 0.1 percent, while sectors showed a mixed picture.

Jitters over an impending rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve had set a negative tone for markets worldwide, with a fresh batch of Chinese data adding to the uncertainty on Tuesday.

China's consumer inflation price index (CPI) for October rose 1.3 percent from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed, cooling from 1.6 percent in September, which was slightly below analyst expectations. China's producer price index (PPI) also came in, falling 5.9 percent in October, making it the 44th straight month of declines.

Asia shares closed mostly lower as a result, while U.S. stocks traded mostly lower Tuesday, pausing after the prior day's roughly 1 percent decline, amid a light day of economic reports.

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In earnings news, British telecommunications firm Vodafone outshone other earnings, after the mobile operator reported a better-than-expected acceleration in revenue growth in the second quarter. Shares jumped near the top of the STOXX 600, closing up near 4 percent.

Sticking with London-listed firms, U.K. broadcaster ITV finished trade 1.8 percent higher after the company said the initial outlook for 2016 was encouraging as net advertising revenue grew broadly in line with consensus for the third quarter, helped by the Rugby World Cup.

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One of the worst performers on London's FTSE index was Wolseley, which finished down 4.6 percent. The world's largest supplier of plumbing and heating goods posted a 6 percent rise in first-quarter trading profit.

Luxury jeweler Pandora posted third-quarter operating profit on Tuesday which was in line with forecasts. Shares in the firm finished up 2.6 percent, after the company maintained its full-year revenue and profit outlook.

Commodities in focus

Stocks in and around the commodity space were looking worse for wear on Tuesday.

Manufacturer, Vallourec posted a loss in its third-quarter, under pressure from a fall demand from oil and gas customers. Shares in the company fell over 10 percent by the close, after it said it did not expect market conditions to improve in the short-term.

On top of this, Barclays downgraded its outlook for Europe's mining sector from "positive" to "neutral", after commodity stocks slumped during 2015, over concerns on an economic slowdown in China. Consequently, shares in miners dragged the London FTSE lower, with Anglo American at the bottom of the U.K. index, down 4.7 percent. Glencore and Antofagasta finished sharply lower too.

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Oil prices recovered on Tuesday, following a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said prices were set for a slow recovery, recovering to $80 a barrel by the year 2020.

Brent crude was up 16 cents at $47.32, while U.S. crude was at $44.29 a barrel at the close. Despite this, many oil stocks finished in the red, with Tullow Oil ended down 6.5 percent. Seadrill, Subsea 7 and Statoil all closed sharply lower too.