Europe Markets

Europe accelerates gains to close up; Fed in focus

Europe accelerates gains to close up; Fed in focus

European equities accelerated gains to close around 1 percent higher on Tuesday, after a choppy day of trade.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.9 percent higher, as investors recovered from a sell-off in Asia and kept an eye on news surrounding the upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

The U.K. FTSE 100 and German DAX indexes closed provisionally 1.1 percent higher and 0.8 percent respectively. The French CAC index ended provisionally 1.3 percent up.

U.S. stocks traded mostly higher on Tuesday, boosting European afternoon trade, as investors around the world wait to see if the Fed will finally raise interest rates this week, for the first time in nine years.

The U.S. central bank will meet on Wednesday and announce its decision on Thursday. Economists are divided as to whether a rate rise will ensue this month, given recent volatility in global markets and renewed concerns about the risk of an economic "hard landing" in China.

In Asia overnight, shares were mixed to lower, as caution prevailed ahead of the Fed meeting and concerns abou the health of China's economy simmered. Once again, Chinese stocks plunged, with the Shanghai Composite closing 3.5 percent down and the Shenzhen Composite 4.9 percent lower.

On Europe's data front, the closely-watched German ZEW economic sentiment index dropped to 12.1 points in September from 25.0 points in August. September's figure was well below expectations, with weakening emerging markets dampening the outlook for the euro zone's biggest economy.

German energy stocks slump

Germany's RWE and E.ON slumped to close around 3.3 percent lower and 6.2 percent down respectively. This was after Spiegel Online reported that the energy companies were short of as much as 30 billion euros ($34 billion) needed to build a disposal site for nuclear waste as part of Germany's exit from nuclear power.

In addition, the auto sector was in focus on Tuesday after data from the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers showed new car registrations rose 11.5 percent year-on-year in August.

The news boosted European auto stocks, with Italy's Fiat Chrysler leading the pack, closing up 2.7 percent. Shares of BMW also performed well, ending around 2.2 percent higher.

Light crude oil prices gained on Tuesday, despite concerns over weak Asian demand. This supported energy stocks, with Seadrill near the top of the STOXX 600, ending more than 7 percent higher. Tullow Oil, also outperformed, closing 4.3 percent higher.