Investing.com - European stocks were lower on Wednesday, despite hopes for a breakthrough on Greece’s debt negotiations lent support to equity markets, as investors remained cautious ahead the Federal Reserve's policy statement due later in the day.
European equity markets were supported by optimism that Greece is moving closer to reaching an agreement with its creditors on a package of economic reforms for bailout funds.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday reshuffled the team handling talks with the country’s international lenders fuelling hopes that a deal can be reached in time to avert a default.
Among peripheral lenders, Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) inched up 0.04% and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) slid 0.36% in Italy, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) lost 0.45% and 1.51% respectively.
Elsewhere, Peugeot SA (PARIS:PEUP) declined 0.61% after the French carmaker said first-quarter revenue climbed 4.6% from a year earlier, helped by growing demand in China.
On the upside, shares in Hermes International (PARIS:HRMS) surged 2.37% after the luxury retailer reported a 19% increase in first-quarter sales, boosted by unexpected growth in its Japanese business.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 slipped 0.14%, weighed by sharp losses in mining stocks.
Shares in Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) dropped 0.54% and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) tumbled 1.45%, while Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) retreated 1.79% and Antofagasta (LONDON:ANTO) led losses on the index, with shares plummeting 2.37% after the company reported a drop in quarterly copper production.
In the financial sector, stocks were mixed. HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) edged up 0.07% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) added 0.21%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) fell 0.24% and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) declined 0.53%.
Barclays earlier reported pretax profit in line with analyst predictions and said it had set aside an additional £800 million towards settling currency-manipulation allegations.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.16% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.14% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.28% decline.
Later in the day, Germany was to release preliminary data on consumer inflation.
The U.S. was to publish preliminary data on first quarter economic growth in addition to a report on pending home sales. In addition, the Fed was to announce its monetary policy decision and publish its rate statement.
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