- Fed announces stimulus measures
- US house starts rise less than forecast
- BoE releases meeting minutes
- Cyprus curbs capital controls
FTSE 100: -0.27%
CAC 40: 0.36%
FTSE MIB: 0.08%
IBEX 35: 0.52%
Stoxx 600: 0.26%
European stocks were little changed before the Federal Reserve's decision on stimulus and after the Bank of England (BoE) released minutes of its last meeting.
The Fed will wrap up the final day of its two-day policy meeting late Wednesday when it is expected to reveal a tapering of its $85bn per month in bond purchases.
Economists predict the Fed will scale back quantitative easing (QE) between $10bn and $15bn per month.
ETX Capital Market Strategist Ishaq Siddiqi said "market participants do not have all their chips on the table today, grinding out the day cautiously before we hear from the Fed".
"Most expect the central bank to initiate the first round of tapering today, despite the fact that momentum in the US labour market is evidently slower than the Fed hoped," he added.
"We could see the Fed stand pat for that reason but many are of the view that the taper genie is out of the bottle, intentions have been made clear by not only Chairman Bernanke but his colleagues, some of who were previously pro-QE, now pro-tapering."
Also in the US, housing starts rose to a 891,000 annualised pace in August from a revised 883,000 rate the previous month, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had forecast a 917,000 annualised pace.
In the UK, the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) released minutes of its last meeting in early September when it reiterated that it won't raise borrowing costs until unemployment falls to 7%.
The minutes showed MPC members voted 9-0 for keeping interest rates at the record low of 0.5% and the asset purchase facility at £375bn.
However, some committee members still felt further stimulus might be required at some point, "based in part on their judgements about the speed with which the degree of slack in the economy might be reduced if the momentum in demand continued to grow," the minutes revealed.
Cyprus to end capital controls
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the government plans to lift all controls on bank deposits and capital by January after nearly a year.
"The goal right now is to create the conditions for growth and tackle the serious problem of unemployment, to stabilise the financial system," Anastasiades said in an interview with Bloomberg in Nicosia.
He added that his country will implement its agreement with international creditors in an effort to boost recovery. The Mediterranean island nation was approved for a €1.5bn payout by euro-region finance ministers on September 13th, the second disbursement under a €10bn rescue programme.
Siemens names new CFO
Siemens advanced after appointing SAP AG's co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Hagemann Snabe to its supervisory board and named Ralf Thomas Chief Financial Officer.
ARM's surged on rumours the electronics company will be taken over by Intel.
Peugeot gained after news the European carmaker may sell a stake to Dongfeng Motor Corp. to raise cash for expansion outside Europe.
Smiths Group rallied after the UK producer of security scanners announced a special dividend of 30p per share and increased its final dividend by 4% to 27p a share.
Aberdeen Asset Management declined after Morgan Stanley cut its earnings forecast for 2014 and 2015 by about 6% and 7% respectively, blaming poor fund performance.
Lanxess AG dropped after the synthetic-rubber maker said it will axe 1,000 jobs as part of a plan to cut costs.
Brent crude gains, euro weakens
Brent crude oil
rose $0.570 to $108.810 per barrel on the ICE.
The euro weakened, falling 0.10% against $1.3354.