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European markets were choppy on Wednesday, with corporate earnings season in full swing and a European Central Bank meeting ahead.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.4% by mid-afternoon, after bouncing either side of the flatline throughout the trading session. Tech stocks fell 1.9% while retail stocks gained 1%.
The European blue chip index ended Tuesday’s session up 1.4%, hitting its highest level since Sept. 19.
Corporate earnings are a key driver of stock price developments in Europe. German Bank, Barclays, Standard charter, Mercedes Benz, Heineken and Reckitt Benckiser all reported before the bell on Wednesday.
Investors are also looking forward to Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting, when it is widely expected to hike rates by 75 basis points; and for clues on its trajectory towards quantitative tightening, as the EU heads into a likely recession.
US stocks rallied for a third straight day on Tuesday as soft economic data indicated the Fed might not need to be as aggressive with rate hikes, although stock futures were lower Wednesday morning after Alphabet earnings disappointed.
A slew of U.S. companies will report on Wednesday, including Meta, Coca Cola and McDonalds, and data is expected on weekly mortgage applications, wholesale inventories and new home sales.
Asia-Pacific markets were upper on the Fed’s expectations and comments from the China Securities Regulatory Commission on creating a “regulated, transparent, open, vibrant and resilient” market.