European benchmarks painted the town red on Tuesday as a perfect cocktail of concerns over global trade, monetary policies and once again, U.S and international politics, began to clutter the agenda from a short time after the opening bell onward.

Hanging in the air throughout the session was the omission of a key commitment to free trade from the latest G20 meeting of finance ministers, which helped to push commodity prices and the mining sector lower from minute one.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.69% lower in London at 7,378 while the DAX settled at 11,962, down 0.75% for the session. The CAC 40 in Paris was down by a lesser 0.19% to 5,002. 

U.K. stocks also had the release of stronger than expected inflation figures for February to contend with. This sent the pound, along with future interest rate expectations, higher and increased downward momentum behind equity markets.

Headline consumer price inflation came in at 2.3%, against expectations for a ten basis point increase to 1.7%, taking it above the Bank of England's 2% target for the first time since late 2013.

This is while, more crucially, core inflation also reached 2% in the U.K. during the recent month. Such a move is even more noteworthy than the movement in headline CPI given that the core measure strips out the more volatile food and energy prices.

Continental stock markets got off to a strong start as moderate presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron, was perceived as the clear winner in Monday's French presidential election debate. But the region's indices turned red in the afternoon hours as the reality of the current economic and political backdrop returned to the room.

In London the mining companies dominated the list of big fallers among blue chip stocks. Rio Tinto (RIO) , BHP Billiton (BHP) and other usual suspects such as Glencore (GLNCF) and Anglo American (NGLOY) dominated the bottom of the board in London Tuesday, with losses of more than 3% each in many cases.

Construction equipment firmt, Ashtead (ASHTF) and generic drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMPY) were also big fallers, with losses of 2.1% and 1.7% respectively. Both are dollar earners.

In Frankfurt, healthcare and medical equipment maker Fresenius (FMS) was given a sell rating by analysts at UBS (OUBSF) during morning hours which helped send it sliding toward the bottom of the DAX where it remained for much of the session.

Thyssenkrupp (TYEKF) , the integrated industrial giant in Germany, saw its stock slide throughout the session as metals prices fell - despite a weaker dollar on the day.

Lufthansa (DLAKY) stock was also among the top fallers on the DAX, amid a down day for the airline sector, as the German firm faced off with uncertainty over a sudden tightening of in-flight security measures by the U.S. and U.K. governments.

The stock rose strongly last week in response to a better than expected full year performance and so, perhaps, it was always going to react more strongly but a sell rating slapped on the stock Tuesday morning by analysts at HSBC may also have helped compound the airliner's woes for the session.

In Paris, ArcelorMittal (MT) was the top faller on the CAC 40 index after dropping more than 3% in response to the day's commodity price action.

Nokia (NOK) and Lafarge Holcim (HCMLY) were also big losers from the day's price action, both with losses of between 2% and 3%.

Nokia stock has been volatile since it announced another restructuring last week although it will not have been helped on Tuesday by headlines of technical problems in its latest phone, a revamped version of the iconic 3310.

This is while the fall in Lafarge stock perhaps represents angst among investors over another day of headlines surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump, the election and the alleged influence of the Russian government in the outcome of the vote.

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