Europe stocks close down after weak data

European shares closed lower on Tuesday after weak economic sentiment data from Germany and a mixed performance in U.S. markets. However, gains in mining stocks helped offset losses.


The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed down 0.6 percent at 1,192.40 points, following disappointing economic sentiment data for Germany. The country's widely watched ZEW sentiment index dipped to 36.3 in July, down from 38.5 in June. Germany's DAX provisionally closed down 0.4 percent.

U.K. inflation came in slightly below expectations, showing an up-tick to 2.9 percent for June, from 2.7 percent in May. The FTSE 100 closed down 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 closed down 0.7 percent.

(Read More: UK inflation below forecasts, sterling falls)

However, positive second quarter earnings from the mining sector, which has seen fragility and price weakness over the last year, helped offset stock market losses. London-listed miner Rio Tinto reported a solid trading update for its second quarter. Shares of the firm closed roughly 2.73 percent higher, and helped boost stock in Randgold Resources, Glencore, Fresnillo and Anglo American.

U.S stocks mirrored Europe on Tuesday, slipping into negative territory, despite a better-than-expected homebuilder confidence report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded lower, as did the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Meanwhile, global investors are awaiting Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's annual testimony on Wednesday for clues on the direction of future monetary stimulus on the back of the weaker-than-expected data.

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