- European stocks turned broadly lower on Tuesday, weighed by disappointing economic sentiment data from Germany and as markets were jittery ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen''s testimony before Congress.

During European afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 retreated 0.64%, France’s CAC 40 slid 0.47%, while Germany’s DAX declined 0.40%.

In a report, the ZEW Institute said its index for economic sentiment in Germany fell to a 19-month low of 27.1 in July, from a reading of 29.8 the previous month. Analysts had expected the index to to tick down to 28.0 this month.

For the entire euro zone, the ZEW economic sentiment index rose to 61.8 this month, from a reading of 58.4 in June, confounding expectations for an increase to 62.3.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen was set to testify before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In the minutes of the Federal Reserve''s June policy meeting released last week, the U.S. central bank predicted an October close to its bond-buying stimulus program but did not hint at a timetable as to when interest rates may begin to rise afterwards.

Financial stocks extended earlier losses, as French lenders Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) plummeted 1.86% and 1.32%, while Germany''s Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) plunged 2.95%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy''s Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) sank 2.23% and 2.46% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) tumbled 1.81% and 3.09%.

Elsewhere, Software AG (XETRA:SOWG) saw shares dive 17.29% after saying the margin on full-year operating profit may be as little as 26%, down from a previous estimate of 26.8%.

On the upside, Hennes & Mauritz (ST:HMb) rallied 1.38% after the clothing retailer said sales climbed 12% in June, above expectations for a 9.4% increase.

In London, FTSE 100 slipped 0.15%, after upbeat U.K. data bolstered expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates before the end of the year.

The Office for National Statistics reported that U.K. consumer prices rose 1.9% on a year-over-year basis in June, accelerating from 1.5% in May and well above expectations of 1.6%. Consumer prices ticked up 0.2% last month, the ONS said, compared to estimates of a 0.1% decline.

Mining stocks remained broadly higher, shares in Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) rose 0.27% and Randgold Resources (LONDON:RRS) advanced 1.08%, while rivals Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) and Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) surged 1.12% and 2.20% respectively.

In the financial sector, stocks turned mostly lower. Barclays (LONDON:BARC) slipped 0.24% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) declined 0.74%, while HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) slid 0.39%. The Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) overperformed however, up 0.34%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.05% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.12% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.02% uptick.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on retail sales, as well as data on import prices, business inventories and manufacturing activity in the Empire state.

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