Drugmaker Roche slides after poor trial result
European stocks closed lower on Tuesday, as investors erred on the side of caution ahead of potentially market-moving events later this week, including the U.K.'s general election and a European Central Bank meeting.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.7% to end at 389.40. That marked the regional benchmark's lowest close since May 18, or nearly three weeks ago, according to FactSet data.
Heavyweight Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG (ROG.EB) (ROG.EB) was one of the pan-European benchmark's biggest losers, falling 5.5% after a clinical trial showed only a modest benefit to women who took the company's cancer drug Perjeta.
More broadly, investors took a wary approach as they counted down to big event risks on Thursday. That day, British voters head to the polls in a general election that is looking increasingly difficult to call, sparking concerns about how Brexit negotiations will pan out.
Read:5 things to know about the U.K. general election this week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-to-know-about-the-uk-general-election-next-week-2017-06-01)
Also read:U.K. election--the worst, best and most likely scenarios for stocks world-wide (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-election-the-nightmare-best-case-and-most-likely-scenarios-for-stocks-worldwide-2017-06-01)
Also on Thursday, the ECB gathers for its policy-setting meeting, at which analysts say the forward guidance on rates might be tweaked. Later that day in the U.S., former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey will testify to a Senate panel about alleged Russian interference in U.S. affairs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-watch-when-james-comey-testifies-to-the-senate-on-thursday-2017-06-05).
"Essentially, we brace for a volatile session on Thursday and Friday as at least one of those crucial events could trigger sharp moves in the markets," analysts at Rabobank said in a note.
The euro was largely flat in Tuesday's trade, fetching $1.1265, compared with $1.1256 late Monday in New York.
Individual indexes: Germany's DAX 30 index fell 1% to finish at 12,690.12. Trading in Frankfurt was closed on Monday in observance of the Whit Monday holiday.
France's CAC 40 index lost 0.7% to end at 5,269.22, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell less than 0.1% to close at 7,524.95.
Stock movers: EasyJet PLC (EZJ.LN) gave up 0.4% even after the budget airline said passenger traffic rose 9.5% in May.
In the same industry, shares of Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA.XE) picked up 1.2% after HSBC reportedly lifted the airline to buy from hold.
Shares in Burberry Group PLC (BRBY.LN) (BRBY.LN) fell 3.7% after HSBC cut its rating on the luxury goods company to reduce from hold, according to media reports.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 06, 2017 12:25 ET (16:25 GMT)