LONDON (The Deal) -- European stocks fell on Tuesday amid a string of disappointing results from companies including German power utility RWE (RWEOY) and Frankfurt-listed Dialog Semiconductor (DLGNF) . Mining stocks were also down.
In London, the FTSE 100 slid 0.96% to 6,123.07, while in Frankfurt the DAX shed 1.44% to 9,638.04. In Paris, the CAC 40 backtracked 1.47% to 4,376.85.
Fresh figures on euro-area GDP growth, and industrial production in Germany, did little to lift the sour mood.
GDP in the 19-country common-currency area rose 0.3% in the fourth quarter, in line with an initial Feb. 12 estimate, the EU's Eurostat statistics arm reported on Tuesday, just two days before the European Central Bank Governing Council is expected to announce further stimulus measures at an eagerly anticipated meeting.
A separate release from Germany's Economy Ministry showed that industrial production in Europe's largest economy climbed 3.3% in January, the first increase in three months and above median estimates of 0.5% growth in Bloomberg News and Reuters polls. Later Tuesday, the attention shifts to the U.S. for Redbook data on consumer spending and the latest gauge of optimism among small businesses.
Meanwhile in London, commodity stocks were among the biggest decliners on the resource-heavy FTSE 100, with Anglo American (AAUKF) down 8.45%, Antofagasta (ANFGY) 5.4% lower and BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) both down more than 4.8%.
At the other end of the spectrum, Burberry Group (BURBY) jumped 4.74% amid reports of a mystery investor that's built up a 5% stake in the luxury maker of designer trench coats, scarves and leather handbags.
Citing people close to the matter, the Financial Times reported that Burberry asked advisers at boutique advisory firm Robey Warshaw to help prepare for a bid. It also reportedly asked HSBC Holdings, the custodian for the 5%, to disclose the mystery bidder though the bank refused.
In Frankfurt, Dialog Semiconductor slipped 4.28% on lower than expected first-quarter revenue forcast. The company also forecast first-quarter gross margins to be "marginally" below the fourth quarter of 2015, but said it continues to expect single-digit revenue growth, with revenue performance as often in the past "strongly weighted" towards the second half.
RWE was down 0.93%. Germany's biggest power utility posted a €137 million full-year loss for its U.K.-based Npower unit, compared to a profit of €227 million a year earlier, blaming serious process and system-related problems in residential company billing. The company also said that earnings were hurt by residential and commercial customers switching providers.
RWE also said it expects a "significant decline" in 2016 Ebitda and operating results, mainly due to lower margins in conventional power generation that will only be partly offset by improving efficiency. But it expects net debt and headcount to stay steady this year despite the tough economic environment.
Merck KGaA (MKGAY) was down 1.69% despite greater than expected fourth-quarter earnings posted by the Darmstadt, Germany-based drugmaker. Ebitda rose 6.3% to €933.4 million, above the €912.7 million average in a Bloomberg poll, while sales advanced 16% to €3.46 billion.
Merck, whose portfolio includes the Neurobion over-the-counter treatment for nerve problems and people suffering from a vitamin B deficiency, said it will propose an annual dividend of €1.05 a share for 2015, slightly above the €1 a share dividend it paid the previous year.
In Paris, casino Casino Guichard-Perrachon was 1.31% lower. Hedge fund Muddy Waters LLC, which has accused the French supermarket operator of overstating earnings and its cash position, came out with additional accusations on Thursday including "strong evidence" that Casino stretched payables to its supplier in France beyond levels typical of Casino and generally accepted in France.
In Zurich, chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli edged 0.12% lower after posting full-year results that were in line with expectations.
The company, which became the third-largest U.S. chocolate seller through the 2014 purchase of Russell Stover Candies, said it plans to open 20 to 30 new Lindt shops every year as it seeks to become the world's leading premium chocolate retailer by 2020.
Asian stocks were mostly lower as well, with the Nikkei down 0.76% at 16,783.15 in Tokyo and the Hang Seng finishing down 0.7% at 20,001.58 in Tokyo.