Europe's benchmarks were mixed on Tuesday after markets in Paris and Frankfurt chalked up a gain for the session while London was hit by poorer-than-expected earnings at HSBC (HSBC) , the British capital's largest stock.
In the economic sphere, investors received a boost Tuesday when PMI data for manufacturing and services industries in both France and Germany came in considerably above expectations.
The manufacturing index rose for both countries in terms of service while, for manufacturing, France saw it cool a bit during January.
The FTSE 100 closed 0.24% lower at 7,282 in London. This is while the DAX rose 1.14%, to 11,962 in Frankfurt, and the CAC 40 added 0.43%, to 4,886 in Paris.
In individual stocks, HSBC, which accounts for around 7.5% of the FTSE 100 index in London, fell more than 6%. The lender missed expectations for earnings in the fourth quarter, after it took another impairment to the value of its Swiss private banking business.
Strong gains for crude prices boosted oil stocks, with BP (BP - Get Report) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) both rising more than 2% during the session. Total (TOT - Get Report) was also one of the top gainers in Paris.
Metals prices were weaker on Tuesday, although much of the sector benefited from a return of confidence to boardrooms that has been apparent in the latest round of results.
Anglo American (NGLOY) was the only faller among large miners after it said it is no longer considering some asset sales following a recovery of commodity prices.
Rolls-Royce (RYCEY) was also among the top gainers as the stock continued to recover from losses racked up last week when it reported what has been described as the largest ever loss in corporate history.
In France, Valeo (VLEEY) was also among the top performers. The former was a beneficiary of price action in oil markets while the latter saw its stock rise after it unveiled a partnership with VW (VLKAY) to provide map data for use in electric vehicles.