European stocks closed slightly higher Wednesday ahead of the latest monetary policy decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve and better-than-expected U.K. economic data.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended Wednesday 0.43 percent up with most sectors in positive territory except for utilities, healthcare and food and beverages.
European markets are awaiting the latest decision from the Federal Open Market Committee which is scheduled to conclude its two-day meeting with its statement on monetary policy at 1400 ET. Traders do not expect the Fed to raise interest rates, but will watch for indications on the timing of the next hike.
In New York, U.S. stocks were trading mixed Wednesday, helped by positive reaction to some major earnings reports. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Index was barely up, 0.05 percent higher, while the broader S&P 500 was down 0.12 percent.