- US industrial and manufacturing output expecrted
- US pending home sales figures to be released
- Fed to maintain stimulus this week
- Italy recovery vital to euro-area growth
FTSE 100: -0.02%
CAC 40: -0.48%
FTSE MIB: -0.21%
IBEX 35: -0.81%
Stoxx 600: -0.10%
European equities were little changed as investors waited on the release of US data on industrial and manufacturing production and pending house sales.
US industrial production in September is expected to increase 0.4%, in line with the prior month's growth, when released later today.
Manufacturing output last month rose 0.3%, compared to a 0.7% in August, according to consensus.
US pending homes sales remained little changed in September, economists predict.
Investors are turning to economic releases for signs of health in the world's largest economy before the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting from tomorrow.
The Fed is expected to announce after the meeting that it will keep its monthly $85bn bond buying programme unchanged and maintain the interest rate at 0.25%.
Economists predict the Fed will hold off on a tapering of quantitative easing until March 2014.
"Usually, the prospect of Fed tapering is enough to move investors to the sidelines," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari UK.
"However, on this occasion that has so far not been the case, which clearly highlights the fact that investors do not see this as a likely outcome on Wednesday.
"Investors are therefore likely to pay more attention to the variety of US economic releases this week, including retail sales, housing data, inflation figures and employment data."
Euro-area recovery rests on Italy, says Asmussen
European Central Bank Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen has said Italy will "critically determine the fate of the euro-area" ahead of employment figures in the region this week.
Asmussen's remarks came after Fitch Ratings affirmed Italy's BBB+ rating with a negative outlook.
Italian officials have forecast unemployment will continue to rise against an unstable coalition due to the legal scandals of former premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Italy will release its labour report for September an hour before the European Union's statistics office publishes the euro-area labour data on October 31st.
The unemployment rate for Italy is expected to rise to 12.3% in September from 12.2% the prior month, while the Eurozone unemployment rate is predicted to hold steady at 12%.
BT Group to reportedly raise dividend
BT Group's shares
rose on speculation that it will raise its dividend by more than 10 per cent when it reports its half year results on Thursday.
Aggreko increased after the temporary power group said it expected full year profits to be in line with market expectations despite the absence of a one-off lift from the London Olympics.
ThyssenKrupp slumped following reports that a series of issues made it impossible for the steelmaker to sell its plant in Brazil.
A gauge of carmakers fell the most among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600 including Fiat PSA and Peugeot Citroen after JP Morgan downgraded automakers to 'neutral' from 'overweight'.
Brent crude rises
The euro fell 0.01% to $1.3800.
Brent crude futures increased $0.410 to $107.370 per barrel on the ICE.