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European stocks closed mixed as investors await Fed decision; Heineken falls 3.7%

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 little changed, with most sectors down and major bourses pointing in opposite territories
  • The European Central Bank has indicated it could prolong its asset purchasing program again in 2018
  • The Federal Reserve is poised to begin a two-day meeting later on Tuesday as investors awaited further clues regarding U.S. monetary policy. The central bank is expected hold interest rates steady

European closed mixed Tuesday as investors await a decision from a two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 was little changed, with most sectors down and major bourses pointing in opposite territories.

Europe's food and beverages sector slipped around 0.7 percent Tuesday after a Mexican bottler and retailer announced it had sold a stake in the world's second-largest brewer. Fomento Economico Mexicano (Femsa) said Monday that it had sold a 5.24 percent stake in Heineken. Shares of the Dutch brewer fell 3.7 percent on the news.

Meantime, Eurofins Scientific surged to the top of the benchmark in mid-day deals after it announced an agreement to acquire EAG Laboratories from Odyssey Investment Partners. Shares of the French pharmaceutical company soared more than 6 percent.

Looking at individual stocks, Finland's mining equipment maker Metso was also moving higher on Tuesday after Morgan Stanley raised its stock recommendation to "equal-weight" from "underweight". Its shares were more than 5 percent higher.

Hugo Boss slumped towards the bottom of the Stoxx 600 Tuesday afternoon after Morgan Stanley downgraded the German fashion retailer to underweight from equal-weight. The brokerage said the firm faces "market-driven", rather than brand-driven, pressure. Its shares dipped 3.47 percent.

On Wall Street, Dow Jones industrial average hit a record high shortly after markets opened for trading, rising 30 points.

United Nations General Assembly

Asian shares slipped on Tuesday despite record highs on Wall Street in the previous session. U.S. Treasury yields appeared to boost financial shares on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average notching a record high for the fifth consecutive session and the S&P 500 also hitting another record high.

The Federal Reserve is poised to begin a two-day meeting later on Tuesday as investors awaited further clues regarding U.S. monetary policy. The central bank is expected hold interest rates steady.

The British pound jumped half a cent to $1.3533 after the Daily Telegraph reported Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson "will resign by the weekend" if Prime Minister Theresa May pushes for a "Swiss-style" arrangement with the European Union in her speech in Florence on Friday.

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