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European Stocks Retreat Ahead of ECB Decision; BP Leads Gains

European stocks began the trading session on a downward trajectory on Tuesday, as investors adopted a cautious stance prior to key events scheduled later in the week, including the release of U.S. inflation data and the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision. However, positive performances by British energy giant BP and mining firms helped mitigate the overall decline.

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The STOXX 600 index, encompassing European equities, slipped by 0.2% as of 0716 GMT, following a robust showing on Monday, marking its strongest performance in over two weeks.

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Investors exercised prudence, refraining from making significant moves in the market as they awaited crucial developments later in the week. The upcoming release of U.S. inflation figures on Wednesday and the ECB’s decision on Thursday regarding interest rate cuts are expected to influence market sentiment.

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Amidst the cautious atmosphere, shares of BP surged by 1% after the company provided a positive outlook for its first-quarter oil and gas output, as well as low-emission energy, anticipating a quarter-on-quarter increase.

Similarly, the basic resources sector demonstrated resilience, climbing nearly 1%, buoyed by record-high Shanghai copper prices driven by optimism surrounding favorable factory data from major economies.

However, amidst the broader market decline, Atos shares experienced volatility, dropping by 2% following an update on the financial restructuring plan from the French IT consulting firm.

As investors brace for upcoming economic indicators and central bank decisions, market sentiment remains cautious, with trading activity likely to be influenced by the outcome of these significant events.

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