Investing.com - European stocks remained lower on Tuesday, despite the release of positive German economic growth data as investors remained cautious amid uncertainty over the European Central Bank''s next policy moves.
During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.18%, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.45%, while Germany’s DAX 30 declined 0.46%.
Official data earlier confirmed that Germany’s economy grew 0.4% in the fourth quarter and expanded 1.3% on a year-over-year basis as strong overseas demand bolstered exports.
But markets were jittery amid speculation that the European Central Bank may tighten monetary policy to stave off the risk of deflation in the euro area.
The annual rate of euro zone inflation came in at 0.8% in January, data on Monday showed, slightly higher than the preliminary estimate for 0.7%, but still well below the ECB’s target of 2% inflation.
In Italy, newly appointed Prime Minister Matteo Renzi detailed a program of change on Monday, pledging to cut labor taxes, free up funds for investment in schools and pass wide institutional reforms to tackle Italy''s economic stagnation.
Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale eased 0.08% and 0.98%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank shed 0.37%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy''s Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo slid 0.30% and 0.94% respectively. Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander overperformed however, adding 0.12% and 0.22%.
Elsewhere, Vivendi plummeted 4.33% as the owner of French phone carrier SFR reported fourth-quarter revenue that trailed analysts’ estimates, due to wireless competition with Iliad and Orange.
Fresenius Medical Care added to losses, diving 7.51%, after the German provider of kidney dialysis said full-year earnings before interest and taxes totaled $2.26 billion, compared with the $2.27 billion analysts had projected.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 dropped 0.93%, still weighed by losses in mining stocks.
Shares in Glencore Xstrata tumbled 1.57% and Rio Tinto plunged 3.17%, while Vedanta Resources lost 3.48%.
Financial stocks also remained broadly lower, as the Royal Bank of Scotland fell 0.28% and Lloyds Banking dropped 0.52%, while HSBC Holdings and Barclays retreated 1.09% and 1.35%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.13% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.15% decline, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.15% loss.