- Fed to announce stimulus plans
- BoE meeting minutes released
- Cyprus lifts capital controls
FTSE 100: 0.16%
CAC 40: 0.51%
FTSE MIB: 0.55%
IBEX 35: 0.60%
Stoxx 600: 0.46%
European equities advanced ahead of the Federal Reserve's stimulus announcement 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 later Wednesday when it is expected to unveil a reduction in interest rates and a tapering of its $85bn per month in bond purchases.
Economists predict the Fed will cut its main rate to 0.25% from 0.3% and scale back quantitative easing by $10bn to 15bn per month.
"The market expectation is for a $10-15bn asset purchase reduction to be introduced later, where anything less would likely introduce a potential relief rally within indices and tumble in the US dollar," said Joshua Mahony, Research Analyst at Alpari.
"The well-known strategy of 'sell' on the rumours and 'buy' on the news could very well come into play upon occurrence, where expectation is so high that the actual event could in fact come as somewhat of a non-event."
Also in the US, the Commerce Department will release a report which is expected to show US housing starts rose to a 917,000 annualised pace in August from a 896,000 rate the previous month.
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 almost 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 to name new board members
Siemens advanced following reports it was poised to appoint a new Deputy Chairman and Finance Chief at a supervisory board on Wednesday.
Barclays stock price plunged on Wednesday morning after beginning to trade without the right to buy shares
in its £5.95bn rights issue.
HeidelbergCement edged higher after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the cement maker to 'buy' from 'sell'.
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.
Brent crude climbs
Brent crude oil
rose $0.194 to $108.400 per barrel on the ICE.
The euro dipped 0.06% to the 1.3351 US dollar.