LONDON (CNNfn) - A mildly positive opening for U.S. stocks failed to stimulate European investors Tuesday, with almost all the major European stock indexes mired in the red.
Even the resignation of French Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn following a forgery scandal failed to register much impact, other than a blip in the euro/dollar exchange rate.
France's CAC 40 was 0.5 percent lower, off its session lows, at 4,864.72.
London's FTSE 100 eased 0.67 percent to 6,241.7, while in Frankfurt the Xetra Dax was 20 points into the red at 5,504.72.
Zurich's SMI was the lone bright spot, scraping 10 points higher to 7,166.6.
The major casualty in London was BP Amoco (BPA), as concerns grew that U.S. regulators may block its acquisition of Atlantic Richfield (ARCO). BP stock slumped almost 3 percent to 568 pence.
Telecom stocks went in the other direction, with Energis (EGS) rising 4 percent, Colt Telecom [LSELCTM] gaining 3 percent and Telewest (TWT) gaining 4 percent. Industry heavyweights British Telecom (BT-A) and Vodafone AirTouch (VOD) missed out on the party, however.
Earnings from retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS) failed to generate much excitement in the beleaguered company's share price.
The Frankfurt market was virtually becalmed, with few stocks making headway in either direction. Volkswagen (FVOW) stock hit a roadblock, dropping 5 percent, after third-quarter earnings announced late Monday disappointed the market.
Rival auto maker DaimlerChrysler (FDCX) was 2 percent lower after announcing plans to recall 40,000 vehicles for modifications.
The Paris market returned to action following Monday's public holiday, with building materials firm Lafarge (PLG) leading the way. Lafarge rose 5 percent on speculation it will get involved in the bid speculation sweeping the sector, particularly across the Channel in Britain.
Chip maker STMicrolectronics (PSTM) jumped 9 percent after the company briefed analysts on prospects.