Earnings, Fed meeting on the agenda

LONDON — European markets were cautious on Tuesday as investors digested a fresh round of corporate earnings and looked ahead to the Federal Reserve‘s policy decision on Wednesday.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline by mid-morning, with retail stocks sliding 2.3% while oil and gas stocks gained 1.5%.

Corporate earnings will be a key driver of individual share price action this week. UBS, UniCredit, Unilever, EasyJet, LVMH, Dassault Systemes and Randstad were among those reporting before the bell on Tuesday.

UBS missed expectations for the second quarter of 2022 as its wealth management and investment banking divisions saw falling client activity on the back of the global market downturn.

The Swiss bank posted a net profit attributable to shareholders of $2.108 billion, below analyst expectations aggregated by the company of $2.403 billion. UBS shares fell 6.1% in early trade.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, German energy giant Uniper fell 11% as the stock continued to tank following the agreement of a bailout by the German government.

At the top of the index, British alternative asset fund manager Bridgepoint Group surged 11% after strong interim results.

Global investors are also looking ahead to the Fed’s latest monetary policy decision, due to be announced Wednesday following a two-day meeting, with markets mostly pricing in a second consecutive 75 basis point hike to interest rates.

Like many central banks around the world, the Fed is acting aggressively to rein in inflation against a perilous backdrop of slowing economic activity.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday’s trade as South Korea’s gross domestic product beat estimates. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains in the region as Alibaba stock jumped more than 6% after the Chinese tech giant announced that it will apply for a dual primary listing in Hong Kong.

U.S. stock futures fell in early premarket trade Tuesday after Walmart cut its profit forecast, sending retail stocks tumbling after hours.

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