European stocks were mostly lower on Tuesday, as mounting tensions between Russia and Ukraine weighed on market sentiment, although hopes for further stimulus measures by the European Central Bank continued to support.
During European morning trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 edged down 0.16%, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.11%, while Germany’s DAX slid 0.39%.
Investors remained cautious as Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, later Tuesday amid growing tensions in the region.
On Monday, Ukraine said an armored column including 10 tanks entered from Russia as the government in Moscow unveiled plans to send a second convoy with humanitarian aid.
European equities had rallied on Monday after ECB President Mario Draghi said at Jackson Hole on Friday that the central bank is ready to take more unconventional action if needed to stimulate a sluggish euro zone economy.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) gained 0.68% and 0.48%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) rose 0.24%.
Among peripheral lenders however, Italy's Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) added 0.17% and 0.44% respectively, while Spanish bank BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) edged up 0.18%.
Elsewhere, Accor (PARIS:ACCP) saw shares advance 0.64% after the hotel operator said first-half profit rose 15% thanks to cost reductions and stronger demand in the Mediterranean region, Africa and the Americas.
In London, FTSE 100 rose 0.38%, led by RSA Insurance (LONDON:RSA), up 2.76%, after the company announced on Friday that it had reached an agreement to sell its insurance business in Singapore and Hong Kong to Allied World Assurance for £130 million.
Meanwhile, U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts higher. Shares in Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) inched up 0.02% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) added 0.28%, while HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) jumped 0.98% and 1.14% respectively.
In the mining sector, stocks were broadly lower on the other hand. Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) and Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) dropped 0.54% and 0.62%, while rivals Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) and Antofagasta (LONDON:ANTO) plummeted 1.35% and 2.26%.
Telecity Group (LONDON:TCY) added to losses, plunging 5.95%, after the operator of data centers said its chief executive will step down in October.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.02% loss, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.05% dip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.01% downtick.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish reports on July durable goods orders, as well as house price inflation and consumer confidence.