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European stocks climb at open before UK budget, Fed

European stocks climb at open before UK budget, FedLONDON: Europe’s main stock markets advanced at the start of trade on Wednesday, with London rising as investors awaited the British government’s annual budget.

Markets were also on tenterhooks ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy gathering, dealers said.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.28 percent to 6,857.01 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index won 0.18 percent to 12,002.24 points, and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.06 percent to 5,032.18 points compared with Tuesday’s close.

British finance minister George Osborne will deliver his coalition government’s annual budget at 1230 GMT on Wednesday.

Later on, the US central bank’s decision-making Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will wrap up a two-day meeting.

“The UK Budget and the FOMC are all anyone in the markets will want to talk about today as the two announcements dominate,” said analyst James Hughes at online brokerage Etoro.

While the Fed is not expected to lift rates, global traders are keeping a keen eye on what it has to say about its near-term plans after a recent mixed bag of economic data.

Investors were looking out for clues about what could be the first interest rate increase in nearly nine years.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

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