LONDON – European stocks were mixed on Wednesday as investors monitored inflation data and looked at minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was just above the flatline in the afternoon. Travel and leisure stocks led the gains, rising 1.2%, while miners bottomed out, down 2.2%.
Market participants watched the economic data carefully. UK inflation data for July showed an unexpected drop to 2% on Wednesday morning. Economists noted it was likely a slip up as the data is expected to continue to trend higher in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the inflation rate in the euro zone rose to 2.2% in July, the highest level since October 2018. The inflation rate was above the European Central Bank’s target of 2%. The ECB eased its target last month to allow rates to overshoot if deemed necessary.
In the Asia-Pacific region, stocks closed higher after New Zealand’s central bank left rates unchanged despite expectations of an increase.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 futures changed little as investors waited for the Federal Reserve’s latest minutes to be released for insights into when the central bank might begin removing incentives.
The Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee will release minutes of its July meeting on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the spread of the highly transmittable Delta Covid-19 variant have shaken market confidence. Investors are also watching the potential geopolitical impact following the Taliban’s capture of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
On the individual stock news, Carlsberg stock rose 2.7% after the Danish brewer raised its earnings forecast for the full year on Wednesday.
American-Swiss optics company Alcon rose 12.4% to the top of the Stoxx 600 after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results and hiking recommendations.
– CNBC’s Ryan Browne, Eustance Huang, and Maggie Fitzgerald contributed to this article.