European markets were mixed on Wednesday as earnings season kicked off in earnest, with a slew of banks reporting results alongside other big hitters.
Investors are holding their nerve ahead of an interesting day of trade with earning reports from Metro Bank (MTRO.L), Santander (SAN.MC), Barclays (BARC.L), Aston Martin (AML.L), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L), ITV (ITV.L), Deutsche Bank (DB), and Rio Tinto (RIO.L).
In the US, stock futures made muted moves following some big hitting tech earnings the day before. The S&P 500 (ES=F) looked sett to open flat, the Dow (YM=F) was headed for declines of 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (NQ=F) also looked set to fall 0.2%.
Investors in the US will be pulled in different directions later today due to the end of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting.
"Investors should understand that although strong earnings have helped the bulls keep equity indices at record highs, they should actively follow the FOMC meeting which ends today and dissect the monetary policy statement," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.
"Investors should be on the lookout for signs of an expected timeline for the tapering of bond purchases and the Fed’s take on macroeconomic indicators such as inflation and economic growth. This would help traders to project potential policies that the central bank could adopt in coming months."
Meanwhile, it was a mixed day of trade in Asia, following a heavy selloff the day before due to regulatory action in China. The Hang Seng (^HSI) reversed some of its losses to the tune of 0.9%, the SSE Composite (000001.SS) continued downward, and Japan's Nikkei (^N225) lost 1.4%.
On Monday, the Hang Seng had slid to its lowest level since May 2020, as news reverberated that Beijing was cracking down on parts of the tech and education industries.
According to the new reforms, these companies are not permitted to make profits or participate in stock markets in order to raise capital.
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