Investing.com - European stocks turned broadly lower in choppy trade on Tuesday, amid growing expectations for fresh easing measures by the European Central Bank, although markets remained jittery ahead of the minutes of the Federal Reserve''s most recent policy meeting.
During European afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 slipped 0.16%, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.23%, while Germany’s DAX dipped 0.04%.
European equities had strengthened last week amid mounting expectations that the ECB will ease monetary policy at its upcoming June meeting to safeguard the recovery in the euro zone and stop inflation from falling too low.
Recent comments by ECB officials have indicated that the bank is open to easing and is prepared to act swiftly if necessary.
But markets were jittery ahead of the minutes from the Fed’s latest monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, as investors awaited further indications on the central bank''s view of the economy.
Recent U.S. economic reports indicating that the recovery remains uneven have weighed on U.S. Treasury yields, pressuring the dollar lower.
Financial stocks remained broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) gained 0.79% and 0.95%, while Germany''s Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) jumped 0.75%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy''s Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) advanced 0.65% and 1.58% respectively, while Spain''s BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) climbed 0.59% and 0.80%.
Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) added to gains, up 0.88%, after pleading guilty on Monday to aiding Americans’ tax evasion. Instead of identifying the thousands of customers who cheated the Internal Revenue Service, the lender reportedly promised to point investigators in the right direction.
On the downside, Deutsche Annington Immobilien (XETRA:ANNGn) plummeted 2.25% after a number of investors offered to sell a 12.5% stake in the German real-estate company.
In London, FTSE 100 dropped 0.42%, still led by Vodafone (LONDON:VOD), down 4.31%, after the telecom company predicted that earnings will fall to as low as £11.4 billion pounds in the year ending March 2015.
Marks & Spencer (LONDON:MKS) was also on the downside, with shares tumbling 2.69%, even as the retailer''s earnings exceeded projections.
Meanwhile, financial stocks turned mixed. Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) inched up 0.02% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) gained 0.47%, while Barclays (LONDON:BARC) and HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) dropped 0.53% and 1.31% respectively.
In the mining sector, stocks were also mixed as Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) slipped 0.21% and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) shed 0.33%, while Vedanta Resources (LONDON:VED) advanced 0.69%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a moderately lower open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.10% loss, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.12% fall, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.14% decline.