European markets ended mixed. Germany's DAX index was down 3.6 points, a loss of 0.12% at 2,933.66. In France, the CAC 40 index recovered from earlier losses, closing up 0.03% at 2,963.63.
London's FTSE 100 index flirted with the 4,000 mark all day Tuesday, and closed just below it at 3,999.90, up 0.31%.
Positive news came from Swiss bank UBS (UBS
), the world's sixth-largest bank, which posted first-quarter net profit fell 11%, which was slightly better than what analysts had expected. The company says its profit decline was partly due to the weakening dollar, but adds that the worst of the bear market may be over.
April labor data is due tomorrow in the U.K., and is expected to show unemployment claims rising for the third consecutive month, marking the longest period of increase since late 2001, says MMS International, adding, "while this would keep the unemployment rate stable at 3.1%, surveys and anecdotal evidence continue to point to weak recruitment intentions."
Asian markets had a somber tone compared to their Monday gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed at 8,190.26, or 0.38% lower. The Nikkei had closed at its highest point in a month on Monday.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index finished down 0.40% to 9119.04.