European stocks mixed to lower in cautious trade; Dax down 0.09%

Shutterstock photo - European stocks were mixed to lower on Tuesday, as markets were jittery ahead of comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 edged 0.09% lower, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.14%, while Germany's DAX 30 eased 0.09%.

Investors remained cautious ahead of Bernanke's testimony at the U.S. Joint Economic Committee and the minutes of the Fed's most recent policy meeting, both due Wednesday.

Markets were awaiting any indication that the U.S. central bank will begin to scale back its asset purchase program this year after recent economic data bolstered optimism over the economic recovery.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders Societe Generale and BNP Paribas declined 0.50% and 2.98%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank plunged 2.16% and 2.20%.

Peripheral lenders added to losses, with Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA retreating 0.18% and 0.82% respectively, while Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo tumbled 1.06% and 1.17%.

Elsewhere, Carnival shares dove 12.27% as the world's largest cruise operator lowered its earnings forecast for the year, citing the low ticket prices that have been needed to drive cruise demand while the company had endured months of negative publicity.

In London, FTSE 100 added 0.12%, supported by gains in mining stocks.

Mining giants BHP Billiton and Ro Tinto saw shares surged 2.16% and 2.53% respectively, while Anglo American rallied 2.48%.

Adding to gains, Burberry Group jumped 2.67% after the U.K.'s biggest maker of luxury goods said profit topped estimates.

Elsewhere, security services company G4S Plc advanced 1.24% after saying its chief executive officer will step down.

Meanwhile, U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts broadly lower. Lloyds Banking slid 0.58% and Barclays declined 0.63%, while HSBC Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 0.73% and 0.90%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a moderately higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.07% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.06% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.13% increase. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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.

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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