European markets were fairly quiet on Tuesday compared to Asia where there were more pronounced moves up and down.
In Japan, the Nikkei advanced 1% thanks to a positive market reaction to various corporate earnings updates including steelmaker JFE which jumped 14.5% to a four-year high. Shares in marine transportation group Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha were also in demand after its better-than-expected results, up 9.3%.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “In China, the SSE Composite fell 1.1%, dragged down by technology, energy and healthcare stocks despite Chinese exports being more resilient than expected, growing 8.5% in April.
“In the UK, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,771 as strength in consumer cyclicals and financials was offset by weakness in real estate and energy.
“The housing market was in focus after Halifax’s latest house price index showed a decline in prices in April after three months in a row of recovery.
“Estate agent Purplebricks saw its share price crash 57% as the ground continues to crumble beneath its feet. Talks over selling the business indicate an offer might be pitched at a price significantly below the value of the company last week and its cash pile is dwindling fast. The future is looking far from bright for the group.”