European equities are set to open mixed on Wednesday, with the focus on the Federal Reserve's verdict on interest rates and a raft of company earnings led by Deutsche Bank.
Spread betters in London expect the FTSE 100 Index to rise four to five points, Germany's DAX is seen down 12 to 16 points and France's CAC 40 is seen up 6 to down 11 points. Asian share markets were subdued.
Stocks have risen recently, in part on a widely held view the Fed will cut rates by at least 25 basis points to limit the damage from the housing slump and tighter credit conditions but uncertainty has arisen about the Fed decision.
The Fed has a "very difficult call" to make, but a cut will again raise the question of whether the Fed is taking risk out of the investment equation, said Jane Caron, chief economic strategist at Dwight Asset Management. If it does not ease, "there's going to be a lot of criticism about a lack of transparency.
The Fed's decision is due later in the session.
On the macroeconomic front, German retail sales, Euro zone consumer sentiment and the first estimate of U.S. gross domestic product data is also due.