European stocks struggled for direction during opening trades Tuesday, with a flattish finish for U.S. stocks overnight and a lacklustre Asian session earlier in the day weighing on sentiment.
Investors were also awaiting a reading on German investor confidence. The ZEW economic sentiment data for Europe's largest economy was due to be released later in the day.
Meanwhile, official data released earlier in the day showed consumer price inflation in Germany declined further below the European Central Bank's target during April. The annual inflation rate dropped for the fourth straight month in a row to 1.2% in April, as compared with 1.4% in March and 1.5% in February.
Stocks on the move
Among financials, Commerzbank AG dropped 2.6% in Germany after the bank said it plans to raise 2.5 billion euros by selling new shares to repay German state aid and to boost the bank's equity capital.
Others were also mostly lower. Deutsche Bank AG pulled back 1.6%. French lender Societe Generale SA slipped around a percent while London-based Lloyds Banking Group erased 0.3%.
Some others, however, bucked the trend. BNP Paribas SA climbed 0.4% while Credit Agricole was up 0.2%. HSBC Holdings Plc. and Standard Chartered Bank Plc. were also up around 0.2% in London.
Among miners, BHP Billiton Plc. lost 0.7% while Rio Tinto Plc. dropped over 2%. Anglo American Plc was also down more than 2% while Xstrata Plc. was trading steady.
On the earnings front, German logistics and mailing company Deutsche Post AG reported higher first quarter earnings. Shares of the company were up 3.9% in response.