Stocks are trading off their lows ahead of possible remarks from a key European monetary official later in the day.

As of 1201 BST, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was edging lower by 0.16% or 0.62 points to 382.80, alongside a dip of 0.27% in Germany's Dax to 12,441.71 while the Cac-40 was slipping 0.26% to 5,182.11.

ECB chief economist Peter Praet was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion at The Fixed Income Market Colloquium in Rome, at 1230 BST.

According to analysts at Unicredit, the ECB likely felt markets had overreacted to a recent speech from its chief, Mario Draghi. So Praet might have a chance to rectify that, they said.

On a related note, on Tuesday morning rate-setters in Sweden chose to keep their main policy rate, the repurchase rate unchanged at -0.50%.

However, unlike policymakers at various of the world's largest central banks, the Riksbank kept the door open to further interest rate cuts if needed, although it did strike a more confident note on the world economy.

“The risk of setbacks has declined, although there is still economic and political uncertainty in many parts of the world. Global inflationary pressures are still subdued and monetary policy abroad is expansionary,” they said.

Overnight, Australia's Reserve Bank also kept its own policy lever, the cash rate, unchanged at 1.50%. Like their colleagues, they sounded a more upbeat note on the global outlook but said indicators for the domestic job and housing markets were mixed.

French prime minister Edouard Philippe was also set to deliver a speech to lawmakers, which was expected to include details about the next budget.

Acting as a backdrop, overnight the North Korean regime launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile into Japan's exclusive economic zone, trigerring an immediate condemnation of South Korea, Japanese and US officials.

Factory gate prices in the euro area slipped by 0.4% month-on-month in May (consensus: 0.2%).

US private equity outfits Bain Capital and Cinven may seek regulatory approval to launch a new takeover offer for the drugmaker.

Shares in the main German carmakers were all lower after they reported their latest monthly sales figures the day before.


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