- Fed announces second round of tapering
- Chinese manufacturing contracts
- Eurozone economic confidence rises
FTSE 100: -0.20%
CAC 40: -0.10%
FTSE MIB: 0.54%
IBEX 35: 0.09%
Stoxx 600: -0.34%
European stocks were mixed as investors weighed the Federal Reserve's decision to trim monetary stimulus and the release of a batch of economic data.
The Fed yesterday announced it would reduce monthly asset purchases for a second time by $10bn to $65bn, saying the economy had picked up since the central bank last met in December.
The bank also kept its overnight interest rate unchanged at 0% and said it will remain near zero "well past the time" that unemployment falls below 6.5%.
It was the last meeting under Chairman Ben Bernanke, who will pass the baton to Janet Yellen.
Ishaq Siddiqi, Market Strategist at ETX Capital said despite initial falls in the US market overnight, the Fed's move is "welcome in a broader context".
He said it shows commitment that even in the face of some mixed data in January, including a weak jobs report, the Fed has "made its mind up and there's no U-turning now".
Chinese data, Eurozone confidence
Chinese manufacturing contracted in January, according to HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. The purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 49.5 this month from 50.5 in December, below the 49.6 consensus forecast and under the 50 level that signals expansion.
The report comes amid concerns over a slowdown in the world's second largest economy. JPMorgan said China poses the greatest risk to emerging markets where currencies have slid, prompting central banks in India, Turkey and South Africa to raise interest rates this week.
Eurozone economic confidence rose less than expected. The sentiment barometer increased to 100.9 in January from 100.4 in December, missing economists' estimates of 101.
The index for consumer confidence in the bloc came in at -11.7 in January, in line with the prior month and forecasts.
German inflation figures will be released at 13:00 GMT and is expected to fall 0.4% on the month in January compared to December when it climbed 0.4%.
Later on, focus will turn to the release of US data on gross domestic product (GDP) and initial jobless claims.
H&M slipped after the European fashion retailer reported fourth-quarter net income that came in under projections.
Serco Group tumbled after the outsourcing group issued a 2014 profit warning.
Royal Dutch Shell gained after the oil company said it would sell off assets and cut costs to boost capital as it reported a sharp fall in fourth quarter earnings.
Diageo edged lower after the distiller posted an increase in first half profit that fell short of forecasts.
Givaudan SA was up after the maker of flavours and fragrances unveiled full-year net income that surpassed market expectations.
Ericsson rallied after the maker of wireless networks reported fourth-quarter net income of 6.41bn kronor following a loss a year earlier.
The euro fell 0.36% to $1.3614.
Brent crude futures rose $0.120 to $107.980 per barrel, ICE data revealed.