European stocks fall at open, ahead of Fed meet


LONDON: Europe’s main stock markets fell at the start of trading on Tuesday, with London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index down 0.11 percent to 6,323.48 points, as traders nervously awaited the start of the US Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting.

Frankfurt’s DAX 30 slid 0.23 percent to 8,196.44 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.42 percent in value to stand at 3,847.29 compared with Monday’s closing levels.

Asian equity markets mostly fell on Tuesday, with traders sitting on the sidelines as they await the Federal Reserve’s plans for its stimulus program.

Financial markets have been unsettled in recent weeks as investors speculate on whether the Federal Reserve will continue with its $85-billion-a-month quantitative easing program, which helped to fuel a global stocks rally.

The Fed is expected to announce Wednesday after a two-day meeting when or if it intends to begin reeling in the huge bond-buying scheme as the economy shows signs of picking up.

A mixed bag of US data recently has pointed to an uncertain recovery with many analysts predicting the Fed would hold off cutting back on the purchases for the time being.

There were, however, some signs of strength in the world’s biggest economy on Monday with a confidence index of US home builders hitting a seven-year high as they begin to see demand for new homes picking up pace.


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