European Stocks are Down Ahead of the Fed Meet

On Wednesday, European markets were quiet, mirroring global sentiment as investors await the outcome of a critical meeting of central bankers.

The Stoxx 600 index rose 0.15 percent in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks leading advances of 1.4 percent, while utilities fell 0.5 percent.

In Wednesday’s trading session, Asian stocks were similarly muted, while U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat beginning on Wall Street after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 set new highs on Tuesday.

The Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium, which takes place online on Thursday, is the focus for global investors this week, as policymakers are expected to outline their intentions for tapering the central bank’s $120 billion per month bond-buying programme. On Friday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will give a speech.

So far this week, easing fears that the Fed will taper soon and the US Food and Drug Administration’s complete clearance of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine have boosted global shares.

In August, business morale in Germany plummeted. The Ifo Institute’s business climate index came in at 99.4, down from a revised 100.7 in July and below a Reuters consensus prediction of 100.4.

Retailers in the United Kingdom recorded the largest increase in spending in nearly seven years in August, while inventories plummeted to record lows, putting downward pressure on pricing, according to figures released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on Tuesday.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, will hold a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in the Covid-19 outbreak.

Elekta, a Swedish radiation therapy equipment company, fell more than 6% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 index after missing first-quarter operational profit projections

Stadler Rail rose 4.9 percent to the top of the index after raising first-half net earnings and reaffirming its full-year estimate.

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