European stocks were almost flat on Wednesday as investors anticipated a federal reserve’s pronouncement on monetary policy, as energy companies soared in the wake of conflict in Iraq.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BG Group Plc advanced as a measure of oil and gas companies climbed on the Stoxx 600 after escalating violence in Iraq buoyed oil prices. Daily Mail and General Trust Plc added 3.1% as its Zoopla Property Group Plc arm rose on its first entry into the stock market.
Boliden AB soared 3.5% after its stock got upgraded by Nordea Bank. WPP Plc dropped 2%, pulling down stocks of media-related companies.
The Stoxx 600 Index plunged 0.1% to 346.13 at the end of trading. Stocks soared yesterday after tumbling for two days amid mayhem in Iraq. The amount of shares exchanged at the Stoxx 600 was 15% below the average for the past 30 days.
European stock markets were approaching the anticipated Federal Reserve announcement with a sense of cautious optimism, Richard Hunter of London-based Hargreaves Lansdown Plc told Bloomberg.
“Details of further Fed tapering may well be announced, which would signal confidence in the recovering U.S. economy. Developed economies are moving in the right direction, notwithstanding the current geopolitical risks,” Hunter added.
Estimates by Bloomberg imply that the Federal Open Market Committee will cut the pace of economic stimuli by $10 billion to $35 billion.
Fed officials led by chair Janet Yellen are expected to announce a new set of three-month projections for joblessness, rate of price increases, economic growth and the key federal funds rate when their meet concludes after the close of European markets on Wednesday.
According to the Guardian, Inkjet dealer Xaar declined further after Tuesday’s warning, losing another 3% or 17 pence to 520 pence.
DAX of Germany ascended 0.1% and UK’s FTSE100 0.2%. CAC 40 of France slid 0.1%.
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