European stocks traded mixed Tuesday as investors eased back on risk positions and braced for Italy's critical senate reform referendum later this week and a key meeting of OPEC leaders Wednesday in Vienna.
Britain's FTSE 100 slipped around 0.6% by 11:00 GMT with basic material and mining stocks including Antofagasta, Fresnillio and BHP Billiton all falling more than 2.3% and leading to the downside. Germany's DAX performance index was little changed at 10,580.9 points while the CAC-40 in Paris added around 0.5%.
Actelion (ALIOY) shares were one of the region's biggest early movers, falling more than 4% in Zurich to Sfr 182.02 each after a Financial Times report said the Swiss biotech firm is looking at ways to combine parts of its organisation with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) that would leave it independent of the U.S. pharmaceutical firm that is reportedly considering a $17 billion bid for the company.
Global oil prices extended declines in the European session amid reports that Russia's oil minister will not attend Wednesday's OPEC meeting in Vienna as traders trimmed bets on an agreement on production cuts between the world's biggest producers. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery fell around 1.76% to $46.00 per barrel while prices for Brent crude, the global benchmark, slipped 1.6% to $47.14 per barrel.
Stocks in Asia were mixed following a rare session of losses on Wall Street Monday, with the Nikkei 225 in Japan recording its second consecutive decline. South Korea's KOSPI index, however, swung into the green late in the session on news that controversial president Park Geun-hye was willing to resign in the wake of a nationwide corruption scandal.