European Shares Little Changed In Cautious Trade

European stocks were little changed on Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision due later in the day, with many expecting no change in interest rates.

That said, the accompanying statement may offer the details of how the central bank plans to start shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was marginally lower at 382.04 in late opening deals after closing little changed the previous day.

The German DAX was also down slightly while France’s CAC 40 and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were up around 0.1 percent each in lackluster trade.

The pound surged against both the dollar and euro after official data showed U.K. retail sales increased at a faster pace in August.

Retail sales volume including auto fuel advanced 1 percent from July, the biggest growth in four months and up from July’s increase of 0.6 percent.

Spanish multinational clothing company Inditex dropped 1.8 percent after its first-half net profit came in slightly below estimates.

Cairn Energy fell almost 2 percent in London after issuing a procedural update on its dispute with the Government of India under the UK India Bilateral Investment Treaty.

Ryanair Holdings shares declined 1 percent on reports that the discount airline has offered its pilots a one-off bonus of up to 12,000 euros in a bid to avoid the damage caused by flight cancellation through the end of October.

Diageo lost 2 percent after the drinks giant warned its first-half organic net sales growth rate will be impacted by the later timing of Chinese New Year and by the expected impact of the highway ban in India.

German construction firm Hochtief slumped 8 percent on a report that its supervisory board is discussing an offer to buy Spain’s Abertis.

Telecoms firm Altice rose 1 percent as Portuguese regulator cleared its bid for a media company.

British home improvement retailer Kingfisher jumped 6 percent after its first-half profit beat forecasts.

France’s Ipsen rallied 2.3 percent on receiving approval from the European Commission for Xermelo used to treat carcinoid syndrome diarrhea.

ThyssenKrupp shares climbed 3 percent. The German industrial conglomerate has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s Tata Steel for combining their European steel activities in a 50/50 joint venture.

by RTT Staff Writer

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