Travel and leisure stocks were the worst performers, down 1.4 percent. The sector was dragged lower by William Hill, after the U.K. Treasury said it planned to support a proposed cut in the maximum bet for fixed odds betting terminals. Shares of the U.K. firm tanked 12.7 percent on the news.
Meanwhile, oil and gas stocks led the gains Tuesday, up 1 percent, after Barclays published a list of its preferred European oil and refining stocks. BP, Total, Royal Dutch Shell and OMV were all named as favorable stocks by the U.K. bank — sending shares of each company higher.
Looking at individual stocks, Germany's SAP announced upbeat figures despite a seasonally tough first three months of the year. Europe's largest tech company by stock market valuation said Tuesday it was gaining ground on its competitors in the cloud. Shares of the company were up 3.5 percent.
Randstad slumped towards the bottom of the European benchmark, as the world's second-largest staffing company posted its latest figures. The Dutch employment agency said core earnings rose 4 percent in the first quarter of 2018, supported by robust growth across Europe. Nonetheless, its Monster subsidiary in the U.S. continued to underperform. Shares of Randstad were off almost 2.8 percent.