European stocks closed lower on Tuesday, as investors erred on
the side of caution ahead of potentially market-moving events
later this week, including the U.K.’s general election and a
European Central Bank meeting.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index
fell 0.7% to end at 389.40. That marked the regional
benchmark’s lowest close since May 18, or nearly three weeks
ago, according to FactSet data.
Heavyweight Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG
was one of the pan-European benchmark’s
biggest losers, falling 5.5% after a clinical trial showed only
a modest benefit to women who took the company’s cancer drug
More broadly, investors took a wary approach as they counted
down to big event risks on Thursday. That day, British voters
head to the polls in a general election that is looking
increasingly difficult to call, sparking concerns about how
Brexit negotiations will pan out.
Also on Thursday, the ECB gathers for its policy-setting
meeting, at which analysts say the forward guidance on rates
might be tweaked. Later that day in the U.S., former Federal
Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey will testify to a Senate panel about alleged
Russian interference in U.S. affairs.
“Essentially, we brace for a volatile session on Thursday and
Friday as at least one of those crucial events could trigger
sharp moves in the markets,” analysts at Rabobank said in a
was largely flat in Tuesday’s trade, fetching $1.1265,
compared with $1.1256 late Monday in New York.
Individual indexes: Germany’s DAX 30 index
fell 1% to finish at 12,690.12. Trading in Frankfurt was
closed on Monday in observance of the Whit Monday holiday.
France’s CAC 40 index
lost 0.7% to end at 5,269.22, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100
fell less than 0.1% to close at 7,524.95.
Stock movers: EasyJet PLC
gave up 0.4% even after the budget airline said passenger
traffic rose 9.5% in May.
In the same industry, shares of Deutsche Lufthansa AG
picked up 1.2% after HSBC reportedly lifted the airline
to buy from hold.
Shares in Burberry Group PLC
fell 3.7% after HSBC cut its rating on the
luxury goods company to reduce from hold, according to media