11-26-13 7:23 AM EST | Email Article

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch


LONDON (MarketWatch) -- European stock markets moved mostly lower on Tuesday after the prior day's gains, as investors awaited data on the U.S. housing market and consumer confidence for signs of the health of the world's largest economy.


The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 0.3% to 323.25, partly erasing a 0.4% gain from Monday.


Shares of R��my Cointreau SA slid 11% after the spirits maker warned that slower sales in China will hit profits considerably this year. The French firm also reported a 20% drop in net profit in the first six months of its financial year.


Luxottica Group SpA gave up 1.7% after Berenberg cut the firm to hold from buy.


On a more upbeat note, shares of De La Rue PLC rallied 9.9% after the currency printer reported a 19% rise in first-half pretax profit.


Britvic PLC gained 3.5% after the U.K. soft-drinks maker reported a 28.1% increase in full-year pretax profit.


Outside the main benchmark index, shares of Algeta ASA surged 30% after the Norwegian pharma-research firm said it has received a takeover offer from Bayer AG . Bayer shares slipped 0.1%.


Among country-specific indexes, France's CAC 40 index slipped 0.2% to 4,293.49, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index gave up 0.4% to 6,669.17. Germany's DAX 30 index was slightly lower at 9,298.52.


The small losses came after European stock markets closed broadly higher on Monday, after the U.S. and other world powers agreed to a short-term deal with Iran to curb the country's nuclear program. The agreement added pressure on oil prices, which boosted the equity market and sent oil-sensitive sectors such as airlines rallying.


"This for many in the market was seen as potentially acting as a long-term catalyst to place a cap on rising oil prices, together with a reduction of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East," Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital, said in a note.


"In the immediate picture, markets are still fixated with the prospects of tapering by the Fed -- will we see the Fed kick off the process next month? Or will we see it at some point during the [first quarter] of next year, or even Q2? Much depends on economic indicators out of the U.S.," he added.


In that vein, investors on Tuesday waited for more data out of the U.S. to provide market direction. Housing data are among key releases, with the S&P/Case-Shiller and FHFA home prices indexes due at 2 p.m. in London, or 9 a.m. Eastern Time. Later, the consumer-confidence report for November is due out.


Data out on Monday showed the pace of pending U.S. home sales fell in October for the fifth straight month, reflecting higher mortgage rates, a low number of properties for sale, and effects from the government shutdown.


U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Tuesday.

-Sara Sjolin; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-26-13 0723ET

Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Copyright 2014 MarketWatch
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