European Shares Subdued Ahead Of Fed Meeting Minutes

European stocks were subdued on Wednesday amid worries about global growth as new coronavirus cases continued to surge worldwide.

Investors also awaited the latest Federal Reserve minutes for clues on when the central bank might start tapering its massive asset purchases program.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a town hall meeting on Tuesday that it remains to be seen how the U.S. economy will weather the recent COVID-19 surge.

Separately, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said there still is “a lot of slack” in the U.S. labor market and high inflation readings will subside as workers return to the labor force.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was little changed at 474.02 after ending flat with a positive bias on Tuesday. The German DAX was marginally lower, France’s CAC 40 index slid 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.3 percent.

Danish brewer Carlsberg jumped 2.8 percent and Swiss medical device maker Alcon soared as much as 10 percent after lifting their full-year earnings outlook.

Online pharmacy chain Zur Rose lost 5.3 percent on disappointing first-half results.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore all fell about 1 percent even as copper prices rebounded after two days of losses.

British industrial group Rotork rose over 1 percent after launching a £50mln share buy-back program.

Sirius Real Estate advanced 0.8 percent. The company said it has completed the acquisition of four business park assets and one land parcel for about 84.8 million euros.

Construction company Balfour Beatty plunged 6.3 percent despite swinging to a half-year profit.

In economic releases, Eurostat’s final reading of the Eurozone CPI inflation for July came in at 2.2 percent on an annual basis, meeting the flash estimate.

On a monthly basis, the bloc’s CPI figure for July came in at -0.1 percent, matching expectations.

Elsewhere, U.K. consumer price inflation slowed sharply in July to the Bank of England’s target, preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

The consumer price index rose 2.0 percent year-on-year following a 2.5 percent increase in June. Economists had forecast a 2.3 percent inflation. Headline inflation slowed for the first time in five months.

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