The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.3% to 333.89. The index on Monday declined 1.4%, marking its first loss in nine sessions, following a sell-off in U.S. high-growth stocks.Fist fights break out in Ukraine parliamentLawmakers from opposing sides in Ukraine's parliament threw punches and shoved each other as tensions continued to rise in eastern Ukraine.Worries about Ukraine and Russia have re-emerged for investors, with Russia now warning that any use of force against pro-Kremlin separatists could push the country into civil war. “On the back of that, we’ve seen a huge spike in gold,” on speculation that Russia will eventually increase its reach into Ukraine.
Gold futures for June deliver bounced up more than 1%to above $1,313 an ounce. Shares of miner Randgold Resources Ltd. rose 1.8% and Fresnillo PLC added on 1.6%.
Sports Direct International PLC was among the biggest decliners on both the Stoxx Europe 600 and the FTSE 100 index. The shares plunged 9.2% after reports that British billionaire and company founder Mike Ashley sold shares worth more than 200 million pounds ($322 million) in the sportswear retailer. The sale comes after a bonus package for Ashley worth more than £70 million didn’t find enough support among shareholders. The package would have given Ashley 8 million ordinary shares.
The FTSE 100 index ended down 0.5% at 6,590.69, with the U.K. index weighed in part by declines among insurance shares. The group is still hurting over a proposal in the U.K. budget that would end a rule that required pension funds to be used to buy annuities, an important source of business for some insurance companies, said Aslam.
The proposal unveiled by U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne last month “is completely a game changer” for the industry, said Aslam, adding that shares of Prudential PLC and Aviva PLC have been among the hardest hit. Prudential on Tuesday dropped 1.5%, and Aviva lost 0.3%.
France’s CAC 40 settled with a 0.3% loss at 4,424.83, and Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.2% to 9,490.79.
Stock in Bouygues climbed 1.3% following a report that telecom operator Iliad SA is in talks to buy Bouygues’s mobile phone unit. Illiad also rose, by 0.7%.Iliad is prepared to pay 5 billion euros ($6.9 billion) for Bouygues Telecom, the third-biggest mobile phone operator in France, according to a report in Le Parisien, which cited an unidentified source. Bouygues is seeking 8 billion euros, the report added. Iliad denied the talks, according to the report. Bouygues shares on Monday stumbled 6% after the company’s bid for Vivendi SA’s French mobile unit was rejected in favor of an offer from Altice SA.
Also, Nokia Oyj shot up 5% after Chinese regulatory officials approved the sale of the Finnish company’s mobile business to Microsoft Corp.