Europe shares made a cautious start Wednesday as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision and monitor developments ahead of the weekend’s U.S.-China trade tariff deadline.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early deals, with basic resources the best performing sector, climbing 0.6 percent while telecoms led losses with a 0.4 percent decline.
The Fed’s final interest rate decision of the year is due later in the day stateside, with the central bank widely expected to hold rates steady.
Meanwhile traders will be keeping a keen eye on discussions between the U.S. and China ahead of Sunday’s planned implementation of an additional 15 percent tariffs on around $160 billion in Chinese exports to the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Washington plans to delay the tariffs as the two sides negotiate a potential phase one trade agreement.
Stocks in Asia were mixed Wednesday afternoon with China’s Shenzhen component shedding more than 0.5 percent to lead losses while South Korea’s Kospi edged around 0.5 percent higher.
A closely-watched final YouGov poll ahead of Thursday’s U.K. election showed the race has tightened considerably in recent weeks, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party now less certain to win an outright majority of seats in Parliament.
Sterling slipped against the dollar in reaction to the news, with markets largely pricing in a comfortable Johnson victory.
In an update before the bell on Wednesday, Credit Suisse said it expects a return on tangible equity (ROTE) above 8 percent in 2019, revised down from its previous target of 10-11 percent, with the Swiss lender also cutting its profitability ambitions for 2020.