European benchmarks were mixed heading into the close on Tuesday after a flurry of corporate earnings and company announcements drove a divergent performance across markets. 

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.20% during late noon trading in London while its mid-market sibling, the FTSE 250 index, had lost 0.% to 19,218.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index dropped 0.12% to 5,159 while, over in Frankfurt, the DAX index bucked the continental trend with a 0.29% gain. Stocks in Southern Europe were equally mixed with the IBEX lower in Madrid while the FTSE MIB eked out a minor gain in Milan. 

Breaking with recent tradition, commodity futures prices were up broadly for the session with natural gas gaining around 2.5% and zinc, nickel and iron ore gaining more than 1% each. Crude oil futures also managed to eke out a small gain on both sides of the Atlantic after a lengthy run of losses.

In individual stocks, Pearson plc  (PSO) saw its shares fall close to 5% by late noon trading in London, despite the education publisher having announced a $1 billion sale of part of its stake in the Penguin publishing brand.

The rub for investors came on a conference call hours after the announcement, with management leaving markets unenthusiastic about the company's future as well as the prospects for the dividend.

Grocery and clothing retailer Marks & Spencer Group plc  (MAKSF) stock hit the deck hard Tuesday after the company said that sales of its key food items had fallen during the recent quarter, albeit at a low single digit pace. The stock was also down close to 5% during noon trading.

On a brighter note, in London and Frankfurt, TUI AG  (TTVLF) shares rose Tuesday after the tour operator said it has sold its remaining stake in container shipping firm Hapag Lloyd AG  (HPGLY) .

The European travel firm raised €244.4 million ($275.7 million) from the sale of a near 5% stake in the company, reducing its holding to zero, just three months after it began its exit with the sale of around 6 million shares.

In Paris, Sodexo Group  (SDXAY) was among the biggest fallers on the CAC 40 after analysts at Credit Suisse AG cut their estimates for earnings by 7% and also shaved 5% off of their target price in response to management having slashed full-year sales guidance last week. The shares were down just more than 1% during noon trading.