European Markets Subdued Ahead Of Federal Reserve’s Interest-rate Decision

European stocks were subdued in the mid-market trading Wednesday, with investors remain cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision later in the day.

At its final meeting of the year, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates by a quarter-point. The investors are likely to keep a close eye on the accompanying statement as well as outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference for clues about the outlook for future rate hikes.

The traders are also awaiting Energy Information Administration’s weekly U.S. crude inventories report, due at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Asian stock markets were mixed on Wednesday, with the Japanese market down, on caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index traded down 0.45 points or 0.11 percent at 391.18.

France’s CAC 40 index traded down 5.83 points or 0.11 percent to 5,421.35.

The benchmark DAX in Germany moved down 21.65 points or 0.16 percent to 13,161.88.

However, the FTSE 100, U.K.’s benchmark for blue-chip stocks, traded up 3.07 points or 0.04 percent to 7,503.48.

On Tuesday, the European markets ended with modest gains, with DAX up 0.46 percent, the CAC 40 up 0.75 percent and the FTSE 100 up 0.63 percent.

On Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow added 0.49 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.15 percent, while the Nasdaq fell 0.19 percent to 6,862.32.

In stock specific news, Spanish fashion retailer Inditex were gaining around 4 percent in the morning trading after reporting higher profit and sales in the nine-month period. The company also posted positive fourth-quarter trading, with online and offline store sales up 13 percent in local currency between November 1 and December 11.

Germany’s Metro AG shares gained 2 percent after reporting higher sales and like-for-like sales, despite weak profit. The company also projects a slight rise in overall sales in the next year.

Tour operator TUI AG’s shares were up around 1 percent after reporting higher results in fiscal 2017, while the company sees improved earnings in the years ahead.

Serco Group plc’s shares gained around 8 percent after telling that underlying trading profit for the year would come around the top end of its previous guidance range.

Meanwhile, copper producer Aurubis’ shares fell around 3 percent as it said it expects stable results in fiscal 2018, despite reporting 29 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit.

by RTT Staff Writer

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