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European markets close lower as oil tumbles; earnings in focus

European markets lost any small gains Tuesday to close lower in what had been a choppy day of trading, as investors digested a new batch of earnings while keeping an eye on the oil price.

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The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index closed 0.53 percent lower, with few sectors posting any gains.

The FTSE 100 also hit record intraday highs during trade, as the pound fell sharply against the dollar. However, it too fell 0.4 percent on the day. The U.K. pound was last standing around $1.2212. The French CAC ended 0.57 percent down, while Germany's DAX fell 0.44 percent.

In the U.S.,stocks traded lower on Tuesday as corporate earnings season began. The Dow Jones industrial average was down about 170 points. The S&P 500 slipped 1 percent.

Oil in focus

After jumping as much as 3 percent on Monday, oil prices remained a key focus for investors on Tuesday, as prices saw renewed pressure in trade.

On Monday, major oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia said a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers was possible, when it came to curbing the current output seen in crude. However, investors showed doubt on Tuesday as to whether this potential deal would be enough, with Goldman Sachs publishing its own note, in which it said it was skeptical about the deal, however.

By the time markets closed in Europe, Brent crude hovered around $52.46 per barrel, while U.S. WTI last stood around $50.75. Basic resources was also under-performing as a sector, closing over 2 percent down, as metal prices posted solid losses during Tuesday's trade.

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Political news could also have some influence on markets on Tuesday, after a poll showed that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has doubled her lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump.

According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Trump now holds support from 38 percent of likely voters. Support for Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has risen to 52 percent. Trump's decline in the polls comes after the release of a video from 2005 in which he made crude comments about women.

Samsung ends Note 7 production

In individual stock news, polymer manufacturer Victrex was the STOXX 600's top performer, up over 8 percent after its fourth-quarter revenues beat expectations.

French luxury goods house LVMH reported a rise in third-quarter sales after the bell on Monday, with shares rallying 4.5 percent. Consequently, the news boosted other names in the luxury sector, including Christian Dior, Swatch and Richemont.

Airbus said it plans to slow the assembly rate of its A380 jet to 1 aircraft per month from 2018, sending shares of the firm down more than 2 percent. Sentiment towards the stock was not helped by a target price cut from Deutsche Bank.

Down at the bottom of the STOXX 600 was Old Mutual, ending 5.5 percent down, after the group's UK asset management business announced a sharp fall in third-quarter client inflows and higher investment platform costs, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile in Asia, shares finished mixed Tuesday, with Samsung Electronics in focus after the stock closed 8 percent lower. The company said it was permanently stopping sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.

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