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Europe markets close higher as politics take center stage; Debenhams tanks 6% after profit warning

Key Points
  • Telecoms were the clear outperformer, up by 0.7 percent. The sector was pushed higher by news that Vodafone is to raise about 4 billion euros by issuing mandatory convertible bonds, Reuters reported. Vodafone was up by 1.8 percent.
  • Looking at other individual stocks, the German chemical company Evonik rose to the top of the index, up by 5.4 percent.This followed an earnings report where the company announced a unit sale to boost shares.
  • At the other end of the index, Eurofins fell 11 percent. The Luxembourg-based firm said it will reduce its investment in mergers and acquisitions in the coming years to boost its margins.

Stocks in Europe were slightly lower on Tuesday afternoon, as investors monitored various political developments across the globe.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.2 percent during afternoon deals, with most sectors in negative territory. Autos and industrials were among the worst performing sectors as China cut its growth targets to a 30-year low.

Telecoms were the clear outperformer, up by 0.7 percent. The sector was pushed higher by news that Vodafone is to raise about 4 billion euros by issuing mandatory convertible bonds, Reuters reported. Vodafone was up by 1.8 percent.

Looking at other individual stocks, the German chemical company Evonik rose to the top of the index, up by 5.4 percent.This followed an earnings report where the company announced a unit sale to boost shares.

At the other end of the index, Eurofins fell 11 percent. The Luxembourg-based firm said it will reduce its investment in mergers and acquisitions in the coming years to boost its margins.

The Austrian bank Raiffeisen sank to the bottom of the index after being named in a money-laundering scandal, Reuters reported.

There was more negative news in the retail space. Debenhams said Tuesday it will not be able to deliver the profits forecast just two months ago. The warning sent shares down by 8 percent.

Investors were also closely monitoring the Chinese annual parliamentary meeting where Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that there will be greater risks ahead for the economy and Beijing must be prepared. He lowered the country's GDP (gross domestic product) forecast for 2019 to between 6 and 6.5 percent.

Meanwhile, trade talks between the U.S. and China remain on the radar for investors. Sources told CNBC Monday that these negotiations are in the "final stages" and a summit at the end of the month in Mar-a-Lago might take place if a deal is reached.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Tuesday as investors awaited an update from the trade talks and focused on China's weak data.