The European markets posted gains in early trade Wednesday, before settling into a sideways pattern. Solid U.K. GDP data and a number of positive corporate financial reports helped the markets to log modest gains. Energy stocks also benefitted from the continued rise in crude oil prices.
However, investors remained in a cautious mood ahead of today’s announcement from the Federal Reserve, which will take place after the European close. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged when it concludes its 2-day policy meeting. Traders will be paying close attention to the accompanying statement for any clues regarding the outlook for future rate hikes.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.49 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks increased 0.51 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.21 percent.
The DAX of Germany climbed 0.33 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.56 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.24 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.59 percent.
In Frankfurt, Metro jumped 7.13 percent after saying it would buy a large stake in French books and consumer electronics chain Fnac Darty.
Sporting goods maker Puma rose 0.40 percent after lifting its FY17 forecast.
In Paris, Peugeot climbed 3.18 percent after its sales and profit figures for the first-half topped expectations.
Thales gained 2.59 percent. The defense and aerospace group reported a better-than-expected 16 percent rise in first-half operating profit and said it was in constructive talks with Airbus about the latter’s bid to boost its presence in the services area.
In London, Acacia Mining slumped 6.63 percent to extend declines for a seventh straight session on brokerage downgrades.
Broadcaster ITV increased 2.44 percent after releasing its interim statement for the six months to June 30.
Compass Group advanced 1.75 percent after it reported that its organic revenue growth in the third quarter was 3.9%.
Chipmaker ASM International tumbled 6.21 percent in Amsterdam despite its Q2 sales and new order intake beating forecasts.
Pharma firm Lonza surged 7.69 percent in Zurich after reporting a rise in first-half profit and confirming 2017 outlook.
UniCredit lost 0.41 percent in Milan after the bank revealed data breach, which affected about 400,000 clients.
French consumer confidence weakened unexpectedly in July, after strengthening to a decade high in the prior month,…