Europe Markets

European markets close lower after euro zone GDP, inflation; Trump vows to cut drug prices

European markets closed lower on Tuesday as investors focused on data and earnings while keeping an eye on U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policy.

Euro zone GDP beats

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.67 percent lower with most bourses and almost all sectors in negative territory.

European markets contracted in mid-afternoon trade after President Trump described drug prices as "astronomical" during a meeting with pharmaceutical chief executives. Trump also vowed to reduce the cost of drug prices and ensure foreign companies pay their fair share for drug development costs. Healthcare stocks dropped over 1 percent shortly after the President's comments before paring some of its losses to close down by 0.55 percent on Tuesday.

Retail stocks were among the best performers on Tuesday on the back of positive earnings news. The Swedish firm H&M announced higher-than-expected pretax profit in its fourth quarter thanks to an increase in online sales.

Investors had cheered the latest round of economic news from the euro zone, with gross domestic product and inflation increasing and unemployment falling. The euro zone rose at a higher rate than the U.S. for the first time since 2008. The bloc grew 1.7 percent in 2016.

Flash inflation data came in at 1.8 percent for January, up from 1.1 percent in December. The figure may give further ground for calls for the European Central Bank to start loosening its policy. Unemployment in the euro area fell to 9.6 percent in December down from 9.7 percent in November.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq composite and the broader S&P 500 continued to move south amid concern over Trump's immigration stance.

Food and beverages closed down more than 0.72 percent. Greencore, the convenience foods producer, reported an increase of 9.1 percent in its first quarter sales, but it warned against inflation costs in 2017.

The British online supermarket Ocado reported a 3.3 percent increase in its full-year core earnings. Its shares climbed more than 2 percent. Britvic, the British soft drinks firm, was also among the best performers on Tuesday, higher by more than 6.1 percent, after reporting an increase of 4.3 percent increase in its first-quarter revenue.

Meanwhile, the Finnish pulp and paper company UPM was at the bottom of the European benchmark, its shares tanked more than 12.2 percent after presenting a cautious outlook for 2017.

Deutsche Bank fined

Trump's immigration ban continues to create public outcry across the world. Overnight, Trump fired the federal government's top lawyer after she denied implementing the travel restrictions. The tech giant Amazon said it is considering a legal challenge against the ban.

The German lender Deutsche Bank announced it will pay $425 million to a banking regulator in New York over a "mirror trading" scheme that transferred $10 billion out of Russia, Reuters reported. The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority fined the lender for a similar scheme on Tuesday morning, issuing a penalty of $204 million. Its shares closed 1.18 percent lower on Tuesday.

Sanofi, whose shares were also slightly lower, Novo Nordisk and Lilly were named in a proposed lawsuit by a group of patients for alleged price-fixing, Reuters reported.

Oil prices were boosted by news OPEC's oil production had significantly fallen in January and the dollar had weakened.

Brent crude traded at around $55.80 a barrel on Tuesday shortly after the European close, up 1.03 percent, while U.S. crude was around $53.32 a barrel, up 1.29 percent.

Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan announced Tuesday it was keeping its monetary policy unchanged.

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