European Markets Close Weak On Growth Worries, Geopolitical Concerns

European stocks closed on a weak note on Tuesday as traders weighed near term prospects for the market amid concerns about slowing growth and rising rates, and largely refrained from creating fresh positions.

Markets weighed the risks of worsening relationship between the U.S. and China. Investors are worried that a trip by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan would raise tensions between the world's two economic superpowers.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that Pelosi's visit would lead to "very serious developments and consequences". The White House has warned China against turning her visit into a crisis.

Additionally, the United States accused Russia of using Ukraine's biggest nuclear power plant as a "nuclear shield" by stationing troops there, preventing Ukrainian forces from returning fire and risking a terrible nuclear accident.

Investors also digested the latest batch of earnings announcements and regional data.

The pan European Stoxx 600 drifted down 0.32%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged down 0.06%, Germany's DAX ended 0.23% down and France's CAC 40 shed 0.42%, while Switzerland's SMI declined 0.25%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Turkey closed weak.

Denmark, Greece, Norway and Spain ended higher.

In the UK market, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments ended lower by 6.2% and 5.5%, respectively. Berkeley Holdings ended nearly 6% down. Persimmon, Kingfisher, Aveva Group, Rightmove, ABRDN, ICP, Glencore, Fresnillo and Antofagasta lost 2 to 4.1%.

Shares of Travis Perkins tumbled by nearly 10% after the company reported a fall in first-half profit.

Haleon rallied 4.3%. BP gained 3% as the energy giant hiked its dividend and accelerated share buyback after reporting its highest quarterly profit in 14 years.

Standard Chartered, National Grid, Pearson, BAE Systems, Endeavour Mining, Severn Trent, United Utilities, Shell and British American Tobacco gained 1 to 3%.

In Paris, Faurecia ended more than 3% down. Saint Gobain, Michelin, Pernod Ricard, ArcelorMittal, Kerring, Publicis Groupe, LVMH and Essilor lost 1 to 2.2%.

Sanofi surged more than 2.5%. Carrefour, Veolia, BNP Paribas and Orange gained 1 to 1.5%.

In the German market, Puma, Zalando, Fresenius, Adidas, SAP, Continental and Sartorius lost 2 to 4%.

Bayer, Volkswagen, E.ON, BMW, Covestro, Deutsche Wohnen, Symrise and Deutsche Telekom gained 1 to 2.3%.

In economic releases, U.K. house price inflation accelerated less-than-expected in July, after easing in the previous three months, survey results from the Nationwide Building Society showed.

The house price index logged a double-digit annual growth of 11% in July, faster than the 10.7% rise in June. However, this was slower than the economists' forecast of 11.5%.

Swiss consumer sentiment deteriorated sharply in the third quarter as households turned far more pessimistic about the future general economic situation, survey data from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, showed.

The consumer sentiment index fell to -41.7 in the third quarter from -27.4 in the second quarter. The index logged its biggest decline since the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

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