European stocks are set to open lower Wednesday morning, as investors await a policy decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The FTSE 100 is set to 33 points lower at 7,291, the CAC is expected to open down around 21 points at 5,404, while the DAX is also poised to start 85 points lower at 11,703, according to IG.
Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, amid media reports of U.S. concerns that China is pushing back against American demands in trade talks.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both plan to travel to Beijing next week for another round of negotiations with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed Trump administration officials.
The world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods over the past year, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.
Meanwhile, the U.S. central bank is widely expected to keep rates steady later in the session, with investors monitoring a decision on the Fed’s rate projections for the next few years.
In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, dipped 0.4 percent.
Back in Europe, British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to ask the European Union to delay Brexit by at least three months.
It comes after her plan to hold a third meaningful vote on her embattled Withdrawal Agreement was thrown into disarray by the speaker of Parliament.
On the data front, annualized U.K. core inflation rate figures for February and house price index data will be published at around 9:30 a.m. London time.