Europe Markets

European stocks close flat with Fed, BOJ and oil prices in focus


European stocks ended Tuesday just above the flatline as global investors awaited the outcomes of policy meetings by the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan.

The pan-European STOXX 600 wclosed up around 0.06 percent. The German DAX ended the day up around 0.33 percent, helped by a rise in Bayer shares. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 and the French CAC were up roughly 0.3 percent and unchanged on the day respectively.

Shares of Bayer closed 0.5 percent higher as the company forecast higher revenue and earnings after announcing a planned $66 billion takeover of Monsanto.

The Fed will start its two-day meeting on Tuesday and will make a policy announcement on Wednesday. Market consensus is for the Fed to hold its base rate in the 0.25-0.50 percent range and not lift again until December.

Major U.S. stock indexes opened higher on Tuesday.

Gains to European and U.S. stock indexes were capped on Tuesday by the decline in crude oil prices.

U.S. light crude oil futures for October traded as low as $42.55 per barrel, which was a near-six-week low. Later in Tuesday's session, WTI crude crept back above $43 per barrel.

The Bank of Japan also met on Tuesday and will make an announcement on Wednesday. There is speculation the Japanese central bank could cut interest rates further into negative territory.

Asian stock markets traded mixed on Tuesday, with traders likely taking to the sidelines to await the policy decisions.

In European stocks news, Unicredit shares closed 0.8 percent lower after the lender received seven or eight preliminary offers for its asset manager Pioneer Investments, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.

Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q in the U.K., reported a rise in pre-tax profit for the first half of the year. Shares were higher in morning trade, but reversed gains later to trade 2 percent lower.

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