Europe Markets

Europe shares close lower; BoE minutes show split

European market closes lower
European market closes lower

European shares closed mostly lower on Wednesday, with investors focused on central bank policy ahead of the Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming later this week.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed provisionally lower by 0.1 percent at 1,345.6 points. All major bourses in the region closed down apart from the Spanish benchmark Ibex, with ended unofficially 0.1 percent higher.

European markets

BoE minutes reveal split

In the U.K., two members of the Bank of England's interest-rate-setting committee voted to raise rates by 0.25 basis points in August, according to minutes released on Wednesday. The pound rose against the euro and dollar following the news.

This came after weaker-than-expected inflation data on Tuesday helped curb expectations of a rate hike.

Read MoreBank of England: Ranks finally broken on rates

Meanwhile, shares in Heineken closed over 8 percent higher after the Dutch brewer reported better-than-expected operating profit for its first half.

Rival brewer Carlsberg closed around 2.5 percent lower after it issued an earnings warning over the impact of the Ukrainian crisis. The Danish company, which makes roughly 35 percent of its operating profit in Russia, lowered its guidance for full-year operating profit on Wednesday.

Read MoreCarlsberg warns on profits over Russia hit

Balfour Beatty closed around 6.7 percent lower after the U.K. engineering company rejected another merger proposal by Carillion. Carillion shares closed roughly 2 percent lower.

Wall Street, meanwhile, traded relatively flatly on Wednesday.

At 2 p.m. ET, the U.S. Federal Reserve will releases minutes from its July 29-30 meeting, at which the central bank reduced its monthly bond buys by another $10 billion. Purchases are expected to end in October.

The minutes come two days before an annual economic gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at which Fed Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are both speaking.

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