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European stocks fall on global tensions, E.Z. data ahead; Dax down 0.41%

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Shutterstock photo - - European stocks were lower on Tuesday, as global tensions continued to dampen market sentiment and as investors remained cautious ahead of upcoming economic reports from the euro zone.

During European morning trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 retreated 0.57%, France's CAC 40 dropped 0.65%, while Germany's DAX slid 0.41%.

Market sentiment was hit after Iraq on Monday named Haidar al-Abadi as the new prime minister to end the eight-year rule of Nuri al-Maliki, but Maliki has refused to go and deployed special forces in Baghdad.

In Ukraine, a Russian convoy of 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid set off on Tuesday amid Western warnings against using help as a pretext for an invasion.

Germany was to release its closely watched ZEW index of economic sentiment later Tuesday, as concerns over the impact of sanctions on Russia continued to weigh on the outlook for the bloc's largest economy. Germany is Russia's largest trading partner in Europe.

Investors were also looking ahead to Thursday's preliminary data on second quarter growth in the euro zone, as well as in Germany and France, amid expectations for a weak reading.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) declined 0.53% and 0.64%, while Germany's Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) slipped 0.10%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) retreated 0.58% and 0.74% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) edged down 0.04% and 0.16%.

Elsewhere, Germany's Henkel (XETRA:HNKG) saw shares tumble 1.75% after Chief Executive Officer Kasper Rorsted said earnings growth will slow in the second half as the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East harm business.

In London, FTSE 100 slipped 0.16%, weighed by Centrica (LONDON:CNA), down 1.19%, as the British utility, which owns 20% of EDF Energy's nuclear plants, said a reduction in output from the nuclear fleet would reduce its earnings per share in 2014 by around 0.3 pence per share.

EDF Energy lowered its nuclear production forecast on Monday after tests showed an unexpected defect that caused the shutdown of a number of reactors.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were also mostly lower. Shares in Barclays (LONDON:BARC) eased 0.09% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) edged down 0.11%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) declined 0.62%. HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) overperformed however, adding 0.10%.

In the mining sector, stocks were mixed. Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) slipped 0.10% and 0.16% respectively, while Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) rose 0.36% and rival Vedanta Resources (LONDON:VED) gained 0.48%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a moderately higher open. The Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.05% gain, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.10% rise, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.10% increase. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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