European markets await Fed decision, earnings

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LONDON — European stocks closed slightly higher Wednesday as investors prepared for the latest comment and monetary policy decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by 0.3%, with oil and gas stocks dropping 3% while miners gained 1%.

Investors around the world will be closely following the latest decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Following the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting, the central bank is widely expected to announce it will begin to wind down its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases and end the program entirely by the middle of 2022.

Read more: The Fed is about to set its post-crisis policy course — with a high level of uncertainty ahead

The Fed’s comments on rising prices will also be in focus, as inflation has been running at a 30-year high.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped slightly from its record.

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Back in Europe, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde told an event in Lisbon on Wednesday that the ECB is very unlikely to hike interest rates in 2022 as inflation remains too low, pushing back market expectations.

Earnings in Europe came from Suez, BMW, Zalando, Lufthansa, Geberit, Wolters Kluwer, Next, Smurfit Kappa and Intesa Sanpaolo on Wednesday.

On the data front, euro zone unemployment fell to 7.4% in September from 7.5% in August, official statistics confirmed on Wednesday, in line with expectations.

TeamViewer was the strongest performer on the Stoxx 600 on Wednesday, gaining more than 10% after the German remote desktop software company reported a strong set of third-quarter earnings and confirmed its outlook.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Vestas Wind Systems plunged more than 18% after missing third-quarter earnings expectations and cutting its profit forecast, as supply chain issues and inflation continue to weigh on the Danish wind turbine maker.

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