- Fed begins policy meeting
- US retail sales fall
- US consumer confidence slumps
- Bank of Italy addresses nation's growth
FTSE 100: 0.75%
CAC 40: 0.59%
FTSE MIB: 2.27%
IBEX 35: 1.34%
Stoxx 600: 0.39%
European stocks finished higher on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve started its two-day policy meeting.
The Fed is expected to announce that it will maintain its $85bn in monthly asset purchases and keep the interest rate at 0.25% after the meeting wraps up tomorrow.
The market does not see the central bank tapering stimulus until March 2014 after a 16-day government shutdown earlier this month took at least $24bn out of the economy.
Meanwhile, retail sales declined 0.1% last month compared to August, when it rose 0.2%. Economists expected the report to show that they remained little changed.
"September's retail sales figures suggest that consumption growth gained momentum at the end of the third quarter," said Capital Economics. "And the government shut-down is unlikely to have changed the picture too much at the start of the fourth quarter."
US consumer confidence slumped in October by the most since August 2011 due to the government shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations. The index for consumer sentiment fell to 71.2 in October from a revised 80.2 last month. Economists had predicted a decline to 75.
French Statistics Institute - INSEE's - business confidence gauge for the month of October has come in at 85.0, versus economists forecasts for a reading of 86.0 and last month's print of 85.0.
Bank of Italy on nation's growth
Bank of Italy Director General, Luigi Signorini, has said the central bank expects growth will be worse this year and next than the government predicted last month.
Signorini said the central bank's July forecasts for gross domestic product (GDP) to drop 1.9% this year and expand 0.7% in 2014 have been confirmed by subsequent data.
His remarks come after European Central Bank Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said Italy will "critically determine the fate of the euro-area" and Fitch Ratings affirmed Italy's BBB+ rating with a negative outlook.
rallied after the company reported that its third quarter loss narrowed thanks to job cuts and site closures.
UBS slid as it said it probably won't be able to reach its profitability goal in 2015 after the Swiss regulator demanded the lender hold more capital for risks related to litigation.
BP gained after raising its dividend 5.6% to 9.5 cents as it reported third quarter earnings.
Deutsche Bank declined after reporting a fall in net income in the three months through September, missing analysts' estimates. It registered a 94% drop in third quarter income.
Standard Chartered slumped after saying third-quarter revenue dropped due to weakness in its corporate-banking business.
Europe's largest tiremaker Michelin & Cie fell as sales in the third quarter dropped, falling short of analysts' forecasts.
Other asset classes slide
The euro fell 0.26% to $1.3749.
Brent crude futures dropped $0.772 to $108.770 per barrel on the ICE.