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European stocks fall, finishing at lowest level in almost 3 weeks

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

SXXP, -0.67%

 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

ROG, -5.47%


 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.

Read: 5 things to know about the U.K. general
election this week

Also read: U.K. election—the worst, best and most likely
scenarios for stocks world-wide

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

The euro

EURUSD, +0.1155%

 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

DAX, -1.04%

 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

PX1, -0.73%

 lost 0.7% to end at 5,269.22, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100

UKX, -0.01%

 fell less than 0.1% to close at 7,524.95.

Stock movers: EasyJet PLC

EZJ, -0.37%

 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

LHA, +0.98%

 picked up 1.2% after HSBC reportedly lifted the airline
to buy from hold.

Shares in Burberry Group PLC

BRBY, -3.70%


 fell 3.7% after HSBC cut its rating on the
luxury goods company to reduce from hold, according to media

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