Bank and commodity stocks dragged European benchmarks lower Tuesday as miners pared Monday's gains and the second-quarter earnings season got underway. 

Trading bellwether Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report set up its European counterparts for a fall when it reported a 17% slide in trading revenue, missing expectations, after a "challenging environment ... low levels of volatility, low client activity and generally difficult market-making conditions," hindered performance at the bank's trading unit during the period.

There is a clear read-across to Europe's large investment banks, such as Barclays (BCS) - Get Report , Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Report , Credit Suisse (CS) - Get Report , Soc Gen (SCGLY) and BNP Paribas (BNPQY) from the numbers, with difficult market conditions likely a factor for all. Accordingly, the region's financial titan's were all found swimming close to the bottom of their respective indices during noon trading Monday.  

Prices of metals were mixed while mining stocks were resolutely lower in the wake of Monday's gains, contributing to the session's losses for many of Europe's major benchmarks. 

The FTSE 100 was 0.36% lower an hour out from the close in London, at 7,377, while its mid-market sibling FTSE 250 gained 0.38% to 21,629.

Across the English channel, in Paris, the CAC 40 index was down 1.11% going into the close, quoted at 5,172, while the DAX was quoted 1.40% lower, at 12,409 in Frankfurt.

In London, Rio Tinto (RIO) - Get Report was the top faller on the FTSE 100 after it reduced guidance for its likely iron-ore shipments by around 3% in its latest production report, pushing it ahead of the rest during Tuesday's sectoral decline.

Other big fallers, outside of the mining and financial sectors, included British American Tobacco (BTI) - Get Report and Imperial Brands (IMBBY) , which were both down around 1% after the U.K. government released its latest smoking-strategy paper pledging more measures to stamp out the habit. While both companies are large global firms, the U.K. is a high value market with as much as 15% of Ebit drawn from it in the case of Imperial. 

Elsewhere, Erickson  (ERIC) - Get Report , the Swedish mobile and fixed line telecoms equipment maker, reported a bigger-than-expected loss for the second quarter, sending shares lower by 11% during early trading Tuesday.

It blamed low levels of investment from the big telecoms firms for its continued poor sales performance and there was a clear read-across here to French company Nokia (NOK) - Get Report  , which was the top faller on the CAC in Paris, as investors fear a repeat performance when it reports second-quarter results on July 27.  

Predictably, Deutsche Bank was the biggest faller in Frankfurt, although chemicals firm BASF (BASFY) , metals and industrial machinery maker ThyssenKrupp (TYEKF) and chemicals firm Bayer (BAYRY) were all seen among the session's biggest losers.