European shares dropped to a near six-week low on Tuesday, as investor stayed clear of risky assets given geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, while Ericsson topped the main index following upbeat earnings.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 1.3% as of 0718 GMT, with the basic resources sector dropping 2% tracking weak base metal prices.

Equity indexes of major economies in the region such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain shed between 1.0% and 1.4%.

Traders were on edge as the world awaited Israel's response to Iran's first-ever direct attack against the country as international pressure for restraint grew on fears of a widening conflict in the Middle East.

In bright spots, Ericsson shares jumped 5.6% after the telecom equipment maker's first-quarter adjusted profit came ahead of market expectations.

Naturgy rose 2.8% after a report said Abu Dhabi's TAQA was in talks with the Spanish holding vehicle Criteria on a potential takeover of the Spanish energy company.

(Reporting by Ozan Ergenay and Johann M Cherian; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)