Investing.com - European stocks were mixed on Tuesday, supported by positive German factory orders data, although investors remained cautious amid ongoing uncertainty over the future of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program.
During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 added 0.13%, France's CAC 40 edged up 0.17% higher, while Germany's DAX 30 dipped 0.03%.
Official data showed that German factory orders rose 3.8% in June, beating expectations for a 1% increase, after a 0.5% fall the previous month.
European stocks found support on Monday, after data showed that the euro zone's services purchasing managers' index rose to 49.8 in July, from a final reading of 48.3 in June, adding to signs of a recovery in the euro zone.
But markets were jittery after data on Monday showed that activity in the U.S. services sector expanded at the fastest rate in five months in July, adding to expectations for the Fed to soon scale back its stimulus program.
Financial stocks were mixed, as BNP Paribas added 0.27% and Societe Generale declined 0.67% in France, while Germany's Deutsche Bank slid 0.30%.
Credit Agricole, France's third largest bank by market value, saw shares jump 1.45% after saying profit surged in the second quarter, following the sale of its unprofitable Greek unit.
Among peripheral lenders, Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander rose 0.14% and 0.74% respectively, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo fell 0.28%.
Elsewhere, Salzgitter dove 9.88% after the steelmaker said it expects a pretax loss of about EUR400 million euros this year, due to a slump in demand.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 fell 0.16%, weighed by losses in the mining sector, even as data showed that U.K. manufacturing production jumped 1.9% in June, blowing past expectations for a 0.9% increase.
Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto retreated 1.08% and 1.76%, while rivals Randgold Resources and Fresnillo sank 4.14% and 5.88% respectively.
Meanwhile, financial stocks remained mostly lower, as shares in Barclays slumped 0.74% and HSBC Holdings declined 0.43%, while Lloyds Banking plummeted 2.36%. The Royal Bank of Scotland overperformed on the other hand, adding 0.62%.
HSBC reported earlier that profit missed analysts' estimates, while Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver said fast-growing emerging markets are slowing.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.18% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.14% slip, while the Nasdaq
100 futures indicated a 0.05% dip.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce data on the trade balance.
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