European investors took their lead from a shaky trading session in Asia on Tuesday, despite all three major indexes in the U.S. closing at record highs on Monday. On Tuesday, U.S. stocks were trading lower around 4.30 p.m. London time, as earnings and economic data took center stage.
A main area of focus for investors worldwide — particularly in the U.S. — this week is the U.S. Federal Reserve. On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee is set to release the minutes from its July meeting, with analysts hoping this will provide some insight as to why it held off from raising interest rates over the summer.
In Europe, official inflation data out of the U.K. helped lift markets temporarily on Tuesday, with the biggest rise in consumer prices seen this July since November 2014. This came amid warnings the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union could stoke inflation.
Inflation was 0.6 percent higher on July 2015, beating analyst expectations. Following the news, sterling rallied against the dollar, trading some 1 percent up at $1.3000 around Europe's close.
On the oil front, prices turned higher on Tuesday afternoon, amid speculation that leading producers would take action to prop up the market. Crude futures had come under pressure earlier after U.S. economic data revealed that consumer prices remained unchanged in July. At Europe's close, Brent and U.S. crude posted gains of 1 percent-plus each, hitting $48.92 and $46.40 respectively.