Europe Markets

European stocks close mixed as investors monitor Fed meeting; auto stocks rise

Key Points
  • European stocks ended the session little changed on Wednesday ahead of a much-anticipated U.S. Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.
  • President Trump tweeted Tuesday that he and Xi will meet at the G-20 summit, scheduled for June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan.
  • The Fed will make a decision on interest rates at 2.p.m. ET, with investors hopeful that Powell will signal a rate cut in the near future.

European stocks ended the session little changed on Wednesday ahead of a much-anticipated U.S. Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline at the end of the session, with sectors and major bourses mixed. Basic resources led the losses with a 1.5% decline while autos and bank stocks both rose around 1%.

In terms of individual stocks, German telecommunications company 1&1 Drillisch topped the European blue chip index, with shares gaining 9.5% by the end of the session. It comes after the telecoms firm won spectrum in Germany's 5G auction last week.

Banking group CYBG also enjoyed gains on Wednesday. The owner of the U.K.'s Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks announced it would rename itself Virgin Money in a major rebranding, sending its shares 6% higher.

At the other end of the Stoxx 600, Belgian retailer Colruyt plunged more than 15% following the company's full-year results.

Stateside, stocks were also little changed as investors awaited news from the Federal Reserve, which is due to deliver its latest policy update at 7 p.m. London time.

Global stocks rose in the previous session after President Donald Trump announced plans on Twitter for an "extended meeting" with Chinese President Xi Jinping at next week's G-20 summit, sparking hopes of a resolution to the ongoing trade war between the two nations.

In the U.K., the number of Conservative party hopefuls to replace Prime Minister Theresa May is now down to five, with Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs) set to vote in their third leadership ballot Wednesday. Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remains the frontrunner.

U.K. economic data published Wednesday showed the country's inflation rate cooling in May, with cost pressures in factories falling to a three-year low. Consumer prices rose to an annual rate of 2% in May, matching expectations.