Asian investors brushed off another weak lead from Wall Street, which was dragged by losses in the tech sector
Asian investors brushed off another weak lead from Wall Street, which was dragged by losses in the tech sector AFP

European stock markets slid Tuesday as jitters resurfaced over impending French elections but US tech shares bounced following a selloff led by investor darling Nvidia.

Wall Street's tech-heavy Nasdaq and the broad-based S&P 500 rose in opening deals while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell.

In Europe, Paris, London and Frankfurt were all in the red in afternoon trading.

Nvidia was back in the green on Tuesday after diving by 15 percent from its high on Thursday over concerns that the tech sector's rally had gone too far.

The US company had briefly become the world's biggest publicly listed firm last week, with a market capitalisation of more than $3.3 trillion.

The Nvidia selloff "was not driven by fundamental factors", said Kathleen Brooks, research director at XTB trading platform. "The company is still expected to generate epic profits for this quarter."

Analysts are also keeping tabs on the outlook for interest rates in the United States.

With US data indicating the world's top economy remains in rude health and the jobs market is still tight, investors are unsure about the Federal Reserve's plans for interest rates, with debate centred on when -- or even if -- it will cut this year.

The focus is now on the release Friday of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index -- the Fed's favoured inflation gauge -- with traders hoping for another slowdown that would give decision-makers room to start loosening policy.

In Europe, the focus was on the upcoming elections in France on Sunday, which will be followed by a second round on July 7.

President Emmanuel Macron called the snap legislative polls after his centrist party was trounced by the far-right National Rally (RN) in European Parliament elections two weeks ago.

The euro remains supported even as some opinion polls show the RN leading, with a left-wing alliance in second and Macron's centrists third.

"The latest French polls show that the far-right National Rally party has widened its lead ahead of the first round of voting on Sunday," added City Index analyst Fiona Cincotta.

"Meanwhile, President Macron's party is in third place. Political uncertainty is deepening, which could limit the euro's upside."

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.2 percent at 39,329.85 points

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 5,457.87

New York - Nasdaq Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 17,596.01

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 8,253.06

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.9 percent at 7,635.86

Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 1.1 percent at 18,131.79

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6 percent at 4,921.49

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 39,173.15 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.3 percent at 18,072.90 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 2,950.00 (close)

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 159.59 yen from 159.63 yen on Monday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0704 from $1.0740

Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.40 pence from 84.61 pence

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2683 from $1.2689

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.5 percent at $81.22 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: DOWN 0.5 percent at $85.57 per barrel