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European Markets Finish Little Changed In Directionless Trade

The European markets fluctuated between small gains and losses throughout Tuesday's session. The directionless trade followed the release of a mixed batch of economic reports and corporate earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.10 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks decreased 0.04 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.16 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped 0.06 percent, but the CAC of France rose 0.23 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.16 percent, but the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.07 percent.

In Frankfurt, Commerzbank rallied 3.87 percent. The lender backed its 2018 outlook after reporting higher net profit for its first quarter.

Technology and industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp lost 6.06 percent after posting a surprise 23 million euro loss at its struggling Industrial Solutions business.

Utility RWE rose 1.15 percent after its first-quarter net income decreased 34.5 percent, hit by lower margins and prices compared to last year.

Merck KGaA declined 6.28 percent after the drug major reported a lower profit in its first quarter as net sales were hurt by negative foreign exchange effects.

Retailer Metro tumbled 3.68 percent. The company reported a second-quarter loss to shareholders of 52 million euros compared to profit of 41 million euros last year.

In Paris, Credit Agricole Group advanced 1.16 percent. The lender reported a marginal rise in first-quarter net income amid growth in areas such as insurance and asset management.

Telecoms group Iliad plummeted 19.52 percent after posting weak Q1 sales and announcing management changes.

Satellite firm Eutelsat plunged 12.84 percent after saying it could fall short of its full-year revenue target.

In London, Taylor Wimpey rallied 3.69 percent after announcing new goals for the next five years to 2023.

easyJet climbed 3.32 percent. The company reported a total loss before tax of 68 million pounds for the six months ending 31 March 2018, narrower than loss of 236 million pounds in the previous year.

Cairn Energy jumped 3 percent. The oil & gas firm said that its platform for creating value remains strong and it expects 2018 to be a busy and successful year just as 2017.

Vodafone fell 4.26 percent after the telecom group said it expects a slowdown in underlying profit growth this year.

Jewelry maker Pandora sank 15.54 percent in Copenhagen as it flagged a slowdown in growth in China.

The Eurozone economy expanded at a slower pace as previously estimated in the first quarter, flash estimate from Eurostat showed Tuesday. Gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent sequentially in the first quarter, slower than the 0.7 percent expansion seen a quarter ago. The rate came in line with the estimate released on May 2.

Germany's economic growth halved in the first quarter on weak trade, data from Destatis showed Tuesday. Gross domestic product grew 0.3 percent sequentially, slower than the 0.6 percent expansion seen in the previous quarter and the expected rate of 0.4 percent. This was the weakest growth in more than a year.

Germany's economic sentiment remained unchanged at a five-and-a-half-year low in May, survey data from the Mannheim-based think tank ZEW showed Tuesday. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment held steady at -8.2 in May, the lowest since November 2012. The score also matched economists' expectations.

France's consumer price inflation remained stable as initially estimated in April, latest figures from the statistical office Insee showed Tuesday. Consumer prices climbed 1.6 percent year-over-year in April, the same rate of increase as in March. That was in line with the flash data published on April 27.

The UK unemployment rate remained unchanged at the lowest level since 1975, the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday. The ILO jobless rate remained at 4.2 percent in the first quarter, but down from 4.6 percent a year ago. This was the joint lowest since 1975.

China's industrial production growth improved more than expected in April, while retail sales and fixed asset investment grew at slower rates reflecting softer growth momentum.

Industrial production growth accelerated to 7 percent in April from 6 percent in March, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Tuesday. The rate also exceeded the expected 6.4 percent.

Retail sales grew 9.4 percent year-on-year in April, slower than the 10.1 percent increase seen in March. Sales were forecast to climb 10 percent.

Retail sales in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in April after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.8 percent in March.

Economists had expected sales to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

After reporting a notable slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the previous month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report on Tuesday showing an unexpected rebound in the pace of growth in May.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index jumped to 20.1 in May from 15.8 in April, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 15.0.

Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly improved in the month of May, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders on Tuesday.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 70 in May from a downwardly revised 68 in April. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged compared to the 69 originally reported for the previous month.

With a decrease in retail inventories offsetting increases in manufacturing and wholesale inventories, the Commerce Department released a report on Tuesday showing business inventories in the U.S. came in flat in the month of March.

The Commerce Department said business inventories were virtually unchanged in March after climbing by 0.6 percent in February. Economists had expected inventories to inch up by 0.1 percent.

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