- Fed announces policy decision this evening
- US ADP jobs report ahead
- ECB (Visco): Not true Italian banks need more capital
FTSE 100: 0.46%
CAC 40: 0.55%
FTSE MIB: 0.64%
IBEX 35: 0.43%
Stoxx 600: 0.52%
European equities advanced before the release of a US payrolls report and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.
A report from the ADP Research Institute is expected to show that US employers added 150,000 workers in October, marking the lowest reading since May. Businesses hired a net 166,000 people in September.
The Federal Open Market Committee will meet for a second day today to discuss its policy. It is expected to keep its monthly $85bn bond buying programme and interest rate unchanged after the 16-day partial government shutdown earlier this month reduced economic growth by 0.3 percentage points this quarter.
Economists don't see the central bank tapering quantitative easing until March 2014.
"However, it's this uncertainty that people are looking for the Fed to clear up in the statement that it releases following today's meeting," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari.
"The only problem is, last time the Fed tried to be more transparent, the market took the comments far too literally and totally ignored the caveat that came with it [...] This sent financial markets crazy for a while, and then again after the September meeting when the Fed left purchases unchanged."
Acting as a backdrop is the release of US inflation figures for September today. The consumer price index (CPI) is expected to fall to 1.2% year-on-year last month from 1.5% in August.
Positive data from Europe
Data published on Wednesday showed that the unemployment rate in Germany remained steady in October after hitting a one-year high the previous month.
Specifically, the jobless rate remained unchanged at 6.9% as expected by the consensus.
Over in Spain, data revealed the economy has officially ended its two-year recession after posting 0.1% GDP growth in the July-September quarter, having registered a contraction in prior nine consecutive quarters.
Eurozone confidence data showed improvement across the board in October with the single exception of sentiment in the services sector, according to data published today by the European Commission.
Eni and Volkswagen beat
Italian oil producer Eni soundly beat estimates from analysts by posting €1.17bn in net income for the three months ended in September.
Volkswagen reported a 20% rise in quarterly operating profits (EBIT) to €2.78bn, which came in modestly ahead of forecasts.
Luxottica jumped after the world's biggest premium eyewear maker said it was working on a new licence deal and expects to match an 8% third-quarter rise in net profit for the next three months.
Statoil rallied after Norway's biggest energy company posted a 2% rise in third quarter profit as oil production increased.
From a sector standpoint the best performance was to be seen amongst the following industry groups within the DJ Stoxx 600: Automobiles (1.91%), Technology (1.28%) and Oil&Gas (1.03%).
Other asset classes nudge higher
The euro rose 0.07% to $1.3758.
Front month Brent crude futures were rising by $0.420 to 109.47.