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European Stocks Close Mixed

European stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as investors largely stayed cautious and refrained from making significant moves amid persisting worries about rising coronavirus cases and tighter lockdown measures in several countries.

Disturbing political situation in the U.S., and tensions between the U.S. and China also weighed on sentiment.

Optimism about further economic stimulus in the U.S., and the rollout of coronavirus vaccines helped limit downside. Investors were also looking ahead to quarterly earnings results.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.05%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended lower by 0.65%, Germany's DAX edged down 0.8% and France's CAC 40 slid 0.2%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 0.04% up.

Among other markets in Europe, Denmark, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain ended weak.

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Turkey closed higher.

In the UK market, IAG, Johnson Matthey, IHG, Whitbread, Glenvore, BP and Barclays Group gained 2 to 3.3%. Royal Dutch Shell, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Kingfisher, Melrose and Lloyds Banking Group also ended sharply higher.

Fresnillo, Experian, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Croda International, Reckitt Benckiser and National Grid ended with sharp losses.

In Germany, Thyssenkrupp rallied more than 6%. Continental, Infineon Technologies, Covestro, Deutsche Post, Lufthansa and HeidelbergCement gained 2 to 3.3%.

RWE, Deutsche Wohnen, E.ON, Vonovia, Adidas, Bayer and Beiersdorf declined sharply.'

In the French market, Technip spurted more than 7%. Veolia, Air France-KLM, Michelin, Peugeot, Engie, Valeo, Renault, Credit Agricole and Teleperformance also ended with strong gains.

Renault ended notably higher after saying it has started 2021 with a higher level of orders than in 2019.

In economic news, data released by the British Retail Consortium, or BRC, showed UK retailers logged the worst year on record for sales growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The data said total retail sales decreased 0.3% in 2020.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey reportedly said the third national lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus will delay the economic recovery.

Germany's economy is set to expand this year on the back of export growth, but the biggest euro area economy will reach pre-crisis level only in the first half of next year, Federation of German Industries/BDI said Tuesday.

The industry body predicted 3.5% growth for the German economy this year. GDP shrunk around 5% in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns hurt economic activity severely. Exports are expected to grow 6% after an 11% slump last year.

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