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European markets closed lower amid geopolitical concerns; Worldpay up 28%

  • French President Emmanuel Macron threatens referendum if his reform agenda is not passed through parliament quickly enough.
  • U.S. markets closed for July 4 celebrations.

European stocks closed lower on Tuesday, with the benchmark index pulling back from its biggest rally in more than two months amid geopolitical concerns.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.29 percent lower with most sectors and major bourses trading in negative territory. In the previous session, the index rallied 1.1 percent for its biggest one-day percentage gain since April 24.

Utilities led the losses on Tuesday, down 0.5 percent. EDF hit the bottom of the European benchmark after it announced a £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) overspend for Britain's new nuclear power plant development, Hinkley Point. HSBC downgraded its rating of EDF on the news and the stock slipped more than 3 percent.

Basic resources pared all of its losses from morning trade to close more than 0.5 percent higher, supported by a dip in oil prices. Oil retreated from its longest stretch of gains in over five years during Asian deals Tuesday although recovered to edge slightly higher at the European close. Brent prices were up 0.22 percent to $49.80 per barrel while U.S. crude was 0.3 percent higher at $47.21. Antofagasta, Anglo American and Rio Tinto all ended in positive territory on Tuesday.

Looking at individual stocks, WorldPay shot up 28 percent to the top of the European benchmark after it confirmed bids from Vantiv and JPMorgan.

Stada was also up 2.2 percent amid reports that the generic drug maker could receive a new takeover bid from buyout groups Bain Capital and Cinven. Their initial offer of 5.3 billion euros ($6 billion) fell through last month.

Across the Atlantic, U.S. markets are closed for Independence Day celebrations. The greenback rose to a seven-week high Monday and the yield on the two-year Treasury note rose to levels not seen since 2008 on Monday ahead of the national holiday.

Politics at play

North Korea once again tested fraught international relations after it launched a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast, close to neighboring Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the attack and called on Chinese and Russian leaders to do more to deal with North Korea's weapons program.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday for strategic talks before traveling to Berlin to prepare for G-20 talks later this week.

Elsewhere, France's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is to present his government to a confidence vote. This comes after President Emmanuel Macron laid out his plans for parliamentary reforms Monday, in which he threatened to revert to a public referendum if lawmakers did not move quickly enough to back his plans.

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