Investors pushed European stocks higher for a second day before the Federal Reserve’s much-awaited interest-rate decision, though equities pared gains in the last hour of trading.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2 percent at the close of trading in London, trimming an advance of as much as 1 percent. Anglo American Plc led an advance in miners, up for the first time in 12 days. Energy producers, leading the rally earlier, ended little changed as oil slipped.
Among stocks moving on corporate news, Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA rallied 6.5 percent after saying it will sell assets to cut debt by more than 2 billion euros ($ 2.2 billion) next year. Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc advanced 4.9 percent after announcing a management shakeup. Vestas Wind Systems A/S climbed 4.3 percent as U.S. Congress is set to vote on a bill that would extend renewable-energy credits. Altice NV surged a record 13 percent, after reaching its lowest price since April 2014 on Monday, as Deutsche Bank AG recommended buying the shares.
Dialog Semiconductor Plc lost 4.8 percent after cutting its fourth-quarter revenue forecast, and peer ASM International NV dropped 4.6 percent. Zodiac Aerospace fell 3.7 percent after reporting a decline in quarterly sales.
With only few hours remaining before the much-awaited Federal Reserve interest-rate decision, European stock investors are on the sidelines.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed at 8:18 a.m. in London after posting its strongest rebound in two months on Tuesday. Traders are pricing in a 78 percent chance that the Fed will act today.
While history shows shares from the euro area have dropped in the weeks after a Fed interest-rate increase, losses have either eased or completely reversed in the three months following the central bank’s move, data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1987 show. A rebound would be welcome after the equities touched a two-month low this week. The Stoxx 600 traded at 15.7 times estimated earnings as of yesterday, compared with 17.3 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
After a 14 percent jump from its September to through the end of November, the Stoxx 600 lost as much as 9.3 percent as the European Central Bank’s additional stimulus fell short of expectations and a commodities rout worsened. The index is heading for its worst December since 2002.
Investors will also look at preliminary data for the euro area’s manufacturing and services industries due at 9 a.m. London time. Final inflation figures will also be released today.