- Eurozone economic confidence rises
- US GDP grows
- US employers add fewer jobs
- Fed policy decision looms
FTSE 100: -0.50%
CAC 40: -1.22%
FTSE MIB: -0.94%
IBEX 35: 0.33%
Stoxx 600: -0.53%
European stocks were moderately lower following the release of a slate of economic data ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy decision.
Nevertheless, Eurozone economic confidence rose more than expected in July despite concerns surrounding the crisis between West and Russia over its insurgence in Ukraine. The sentiment index climbed to 102.2 from 102.1 in June, beating analysts' estimates for the reading to fall to 101.9.
Europe agreed on Tuesday to broad economic sanctions on Russia's energy, banking and defence sectors.
Another euro-area report showed German inflation rose at an annual rate of 0.8% in July, as expected, easing back from 1% in June.
In the US, gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by an annualised 4% in the second quarter, well ahead of the 3% increase expected. The first-quarter contraction was trimmed to -2.1% from the previous estimate of -2.9%.
The ADP's employment report showed the US added 218,000 jobs in July after 281,000 in June, falling short of analysts' estimates of 230,000. The report precedes the closely watched official government monthly jobs figures on Friday.
The Fed is monitoring the labour market to gauge whether the US has recovered enough to raise interest rates. The central bank is expected to keep interest rates unchanged but reduce monthly bond purchases by a further $10bn to $25bn after it wraps up its two-day meeting after the close of European markets on Wednesday.
A statement will be released after the announcement and investors will be looking for any hints of an earlier rate hike.
Schneider Electric, Barclays
Schneider Electric retreated after posting first-half adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation that missed analysts' estimates.
Barclays advanced after posting a second-quarter net income, compared to a loss a year earlier.
Holcim dropped as the cement maker reported second-quarter net income that fell short of expectations.
Total declined after the French oil producer said second-quarter profit fell, missing analysts' projections.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria gained after posting second-quarter net income that exceeded market forecasts.
Airbus rallied as the French company said first-half earnings increased on the back of its commercial plane unit delivering more aircraft.
HeidelbergCement slumped as the world's third-largest maker of cement said second-quarter operating income before depreciation declined.
The euro fell 0.22% to $1.3379.
Brent crude futures fell 0.598% to $107.08 per barrel, according to the ICE.