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Europe Stocks Close Mixed as Investors Await U.S. Inflation Data; Ocado Sinks 13%

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was flat, with tech stocks sliding 0.9% while basic resources added 2.2%.
  • Ocado shares plunged nearly 13% after an earnings announcement that disappointed investors.
  • Traders are awaiting key inflation set to be released by the U.S. Labor Department on Thursday.

LONDON — European stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, with global investors monitoring earnings and anticipating key U.S. inflation data due to be released later in the week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index provisionally closed a hair above the flatline, with tech stocks sliding 0.9% while basic resources added 2.2%.

French care home company Orpea climbed almost 9%, toward the top of the Stoxx 600, as investors picked up shares on the cheap after persistent sell-offs following allegations of malpractice in care homes.

At the opposite end of the benchmark, Ocado shares plunged nearly 13% after the British online supermarket disappointed in its earnings report before the bell, with core earnings weighed down by big spending on new retail technology.

In other earnings news, oil and gas giant BP reported a massive upswing in full-year net profit, its highest in eight years, supported by soaring commodity prices. BP shares nevertheless sank over 2%.

Global investors are awaiting key data on Thursday, with the U.S. Labor Department set to release January's consumer price index figures.

The reading will arrive after a stronger-than-expected January jobs report, which has led to speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve could be more aggressive when it comes to hiking rates. The inflation data is expected to show that prices rose 0.4% in January, for a 7.2% gain from one year ago.

Bank of America said Monday that the Fed could implement seven quarter-percentage-point rate hikes this year.

On Wall Street, stocks rose Tuesday as investors digested a fresh batch of corporate results and awaited the upcoming inflation figures.

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— CNBC's Ryan Browne contributed to this market report.

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