European stocks markets struggled for direction on Tuesday as investors reacted to regional economic data, including weaker business sentiment in Germany and lower British inflation.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 index edged up 0.05 percent to 9,661.75 points and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.07 percent to stand at 4,332.33 points in afternoon deals.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.43 percent to 6,764.94 compared with Monday's closing value.
Milan's FSTE Mib index rose 0.08 percent to 20,475.62 points and Madrid's IBEX 35 shed 0.81 percent to 10,037.
The euro firmed to $1.3745 from $1.3724 late in New York on Monday.
The European single currency gained to 82.28 British pence from 82 pence.
The pound fell to $1.6704 from $1.6714.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold dropped to $1,314 an ounce from $1,327.50 on Friday. In Asian trading earlier it had reached $1,332.45.
The Russian ruble fell to a record low level against the euro which rose to 48.55 rubles from the previous record of 48.46 rubles on Friday.
The Turkish lira firmed slightly to 2.1797 to the dollar and 2.9933 to the euro after the central bank held its key rates in line with sharp increases last month.
US stocks kicked off a holiday-shortened week Tuesday in mixed fashion as investors weighed Irish drug maker Actavis's mega deal to acquire Forest Laboratories for $25 billion.
Five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 18.87 points (0.12 percent) at 16,135.52.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite rose 11.09 (0.26 percent) to 4,255.12 , while the S&P 500 index, a broad measure of the markets, inched up 1.38 (0.08 percent) to 1,840.01.
Investment sentiment in Germany slipped in February as uncertainty about the US and emerging economies came to the fore, but the German recovery remains intact, data showed on Tuesday.
The widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute fell by 6.0 points to 55.7 points in February, ZEW said in a statement
"The ZEW economic sentiment figures for Germany and the eurozone were not so good, with both falling well below expectations," said Alpari market analyst Craig Erlam.
"This has weighed on investor sentiment this morning, pushing European indices lower."
In London, traders reacted to news that Britain's 12-month inflation slowed to 1.9 percent in January, the lowest level for more than four years.
"We did see some selling in sterling as falling inflation makes it less likely that the Bank of England will hike interest rates later this year, something that some analysts have been predicting will happen and that had driven the pound higher," said Erlam.
"While this is negative for sterling, it is very good for the UK economy as it means there’s less chance of the recovery being choked off by a premature rate hike and it continues to close the gap between wage growth and the cost of living."
- Alstom shares fall -
In Paris, shares in engineering group Alstom were showing a fall of 3.67 percent to 20.20 euros after the financial newspaper Les Echos had reported that the French state might become a shareholder.
Alstom shares have fallen by about 25.0 percent this year.
Asian stock markets closed mixed on Tuesday, but Tokyo surged 3.13 percent after the Bank of Japan expanded its lending scheme to stimulate borrowing, while holding off on fresh easing measures.
All eyes were on the Bank of Japan's governor Haruhiko Kuroda's post-meeting comments for signs of future policy moves, after weak Japanese growth data for the final quarter of 2013 worsened fears about the impact of an April sales tax rise.
While the world's number three economy grew 1.6 percent over 2013 -- its best performance in three years -- it slowed to 0.3 percent in the October-December quarter, presenting a major challenge for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bid to kickstart growth after almost two decades of deflation.