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Stock price information reflected on a window at the Euronext NV stock exchange in Paris, France, on Monday, March 13, 2023. 

Nathan Laine | Bloomberg | Getty Images

European markets closed lower Tuesday, as positive momentum from the past few days faltered.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed 0.5% lower, with all major bourses and most sectors in the red. Mining stocks stocks lost 2.3% while health-care stocks were the biggest gainer, adding 0.8%.

Banking stocks shed 2.1%, with Italy’s UniCredit losing more than 4%, as investors looked ahead to the European Central Bank’s latest interest rate decision later this week.

Shares of Maersk briefly climbed to the top of the benchmark but closed 0.6% lower, after the Danish shipping giant raised its full-year profit guidance as it flagged continued Red Sea trade disruption.

The ECB is widely expected to cut interest rates for the first time since 2019, when policymakers meet on Thursday, but investors will watch closely to see whether a slightly higher-than-expected euro zone inflation print released Friday will affect the bank’s forthcoming decision.

On the data front, German unemployment rose more than expected in May, undermining hopes of recovery in Europe’s biggest economy. The number of unemployed rose by 25,000 in seasonally adjusted terms, the Federal Labor Agency said Tuesday, above the 10,000 figure predicted by Reuters.

Overnight in the Asia-Pacific region Tuesday, India stocks slumped to lead regional markets lower as the country started counting votes for its 2024 general election.

The world’s most populous country started counting votes at 8 a.m. local time, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi projected to win a rare third consecutive term as per the exit polls.

U.S. stocks opened lower after an uneven start to the month.

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