Europe stocks close mixed as investors await U.S. inflation data; Ocado sinks 13%

LONDON — European stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, with global investors looking ahead to U.S. inflation data which is set to be released later this week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index provisionally closed a hair above the flatline, with tech stocks sliding 0.9% while basic resources added 2.2%.

French care home company Orpea climbed almost 9%, toward the top of the Stoxx 600, as investors picked up shares on the cheap after persistent sell-offs following allegations of malpractice in care homes.

At the opposite end of the benchmark, Ocado shares plunged nearly 13% after the British online supermarket disappointed in its earnings report before the bell, with core earnings weighed down by big spending on new retail technology.

Global investors are awaiting key data on Thursday, with the U.S. Labor Department set to release January’s consumer price index figures.

The reading follows a stronger-than-expected January jobs report, which has led to speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve could be more aggressive when it comes to hiking rates. The inflation data is expected to show that prices rose 0.4% in January, for a 7.2% gain from one year ago.

Bank of America said Monday that the Fed could implement seven quarter-percentage-point rate hikes this year.

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