Europe finishes mixed as investors digest stock news; Fed minutes loom

Europe delivered a mixed picture by the close on Wednesday, as investors sifted through the latest corporate news, while keeping an eye on what was going on in the oil and central bank spheres.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 eked out minor gains at the close, up 0.09 percent, while sectors finished mostly higher.

Most European bourses ended in negative territory on Wednesday, however the U.K.'s FTSE 100 bucked the trend, closing up 0.4 percent. France's CAC and Germany's DAX both closed 0.13 percent down.

Travel & leisure stocks outpaced other sectors Wednesday, ending up 0.84 percent, with TUI AG, easyJet and Ryanair all posting gains of more than 2 percent. According to Reuters, the CEO of Ryanair said the company would reveal a "strong set of results" when it releases its earnings next week; while Liberum raised its price target on easyJet.

In individual stock news, Dixons Carphone rose 4.7 percent in trade, after its earnings - which delivered "another year of growth" - beat analyst expectations especially when it came to its fourth quarter results.

Marks and Spencer ended 1.47 percent up, despite reporting a 10 percent decline in annual profits Wednesday.

Congressional Democrats investigating alleged ties between President Donald Trump's political campaign and Russia are seeking information from Deutsche Bank. Shares in the German-listed stock fell sharply on the news, yet closed off its lows, down 1 percent.

Meanwhile, home improvements retailer Kingfisher lagged behind, sinking 7 percent after it reported a slip in sales in its first-quarter results. Mediclinic also fell 6.44 percent, after reporting a 19 percent decline in underlying earnings for the year.

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On Wednesday, the European Central Bank published its latest Financial Stability Review report. In the release, the central bank suggested that debt sustainability concerns had risen over the past six months amid a potential uptick in yields.

"Risks to financial stability stemming from financial markets remain significant," the Frankfurt-based institution said in its review. The institution added a bond market re-pricing could "materialize via spillovers from higher yields in advanced economies, in particular, the United States."

Also on the agenda Wednesday, investors will also be looking to the U.S., where the U.S. Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its latest monetary policy meeting. Investors will be pouring over the documents - set to be released after Europe's close - to see if there are any indications as to when the Fed could raise rates.

Meanwhile, Moody's decision to lower its rate on China to "A1" from "Aa3" had hurt Europe early Wednesday though stocks shifted upwards as the day progressed. China's finance ministry was quick to dismiss the downgrade, saying that the methodology used was "inappropriate."

Looking at commodities, oil prices came under pressure in late European tradeWednesday ahead of a key OPEC meeting. Current expectations point to an extension to OPEC-led supply cuts.

CNBC's Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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