European stocks closed mixed on Wednesday afternoon, as investors continued to monitor ongoing political uncertainty.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed flat with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.
Basic resources stocks were the worst performing on Wednesday, down over 1 percent amid guidance cuts. South African firm Mondi reported third-quarter underlying profit had risen 8 percent, citing better-than-expected average selling prices. However, the Johannesburg-listed company said its yearly performance was set to be modestly below market expectations. Its shares were more than 7.6 percent lower.
Shares of German food-processing machinery company GEA Group surged 6 percent to hit near six-month highs. Hedge fund Elliot revealed a stake in the firm on Tuesday, Reuters reported, sending shares higher.
Provident Financial tumbled towards the bottom of the benchmark Wednesday after Barclays slashed its stock rating to "underweight" from "equal weight." Its shares finished more than 5 percent lower.
Catalan independence movement
The Spanish government met in Madrid on Wednesday in a bid to shore up its response to the Catalan independence movement. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the government has agreed to formally ask regional authorities in Catalonia whether it had declared independence or not.
Spain's IBEX recovered from losses it sustained in the previous session and finished around 1.2 percent higher.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and other leaders in the region yesterday signed a document proclaiming independence from Spain, although they also suspended the move for the coming weeks, following an unofficial referendum earlier this month that led to unrest and a loss of business confidence in the region.
In the U.S., stocks were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of a summary from the Federal Reserve's previous meeting.