Europe open: Shares flat ahead of US Fed minutes
European shares were flat at the open on Wednesday as investors eyed minutes from the Federal Reserve's November policy meeting for any indication on the pace of future rate hikes and flash PMIs from the eurozone and UK.
The pan-regional Stoxx 600 had barely moved the needle, with major bourses on the Continent mixed.
“The optimists were back in the driving seat, amid light volumes in a shortened US trading week and ahead of the latest Federal Reserve minutes,” said Interactive Investor head of Markets Richard Hunter.
“In a slight change to sentiment, there are hopes that the aggressive Fed rate hikes so far means that the terminal rate will be hit sooner, which is currently estimated to be around 5% from the current 4%.”
“Alongside comments from some Fed members suggesting that reduced hikes may be possible if a recently promising inflation number is the beginning of a downward trend, investors sought solace in the fact that the end of the year could signal the start of a slowdown for both.”
In equity news, Glencore shares rose as it agreed amended terms on the sale of its Australia CSA copper mine.
Credit Suisse fell after the bank issued a profit warning, saying it expects to make a pre-tax loss of up to 1.5 billion Swiss francs in the fourth quarter.
Animal genetic company Genus fell as it said it expected higher interest costs this year.
Johnson Matthey fell as it reported weaker first-half profits.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com