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European Markets Finish Little Changed Ahead Of BoE Announcement

The European markets ended Wednesday's session with mixed results, but were little changed overall. Traders were in a cautious mood ahead of Thursday's policy decision from the Bank of England. Investors are also keeping an eye on the progress on U.S. President Donald Trump's tax reform bill.

Chipmakers were under pressure after Apple said it would not ship its new iPhone X until November. AMS tumbled 3.86 percent and Dialog Semiconductor slid 1.57 percent.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.08 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.30 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.27 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.23 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.17 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.28 percent, but the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0 percent.

In Frankfurt, Bayer rose 0.45 percent. The conglomerate said it has reduced its direct interest in Covestro to 31.5 percent from 40.9 percent. Covestro rallied 3.67 percent.

In Paris, lens maker Essilor, which is in the process of merging with Italian peer Luxottica, dropped 2.33 percent.

Eramet sank 12.73 percent. Italian lenders Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. and UniCredit SpA announced that they have offloaded about 2.97 million shares in the French mining and metallurgy firm.

Vivendi climbed 2.78 percent after UBS upgraded its rating on the stock to "Buy" from "Neutral."

In London, easyJet advanced 0.67 percent after the low cost airline said it would allow customers to use its website to book long-haul flights with other carriers.

Luxury goods group Richemont lost 1.18 percent despite the company reporting a 12 percent increase in sales at constant exchange rates for the five months ended 31 August 2017.

Specialty steelmaker Voestalpine fell 0.41 percent in Vienna after Germany's antitrust regulator raided its headquarters as part of an investigation into suspected violations of antitrust laws in the industry.

Eurozone industrial production increased slightly in July after declining in June, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Industrial production grew 0.1 percent month-on-month in July, in contrast to a 0.6 percent fall in June. Monthly growth matched economists' expectations.

Eurozone employment grew at a slightly slower pace in the second quarter, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Employment increased 0.4 percent sequentially in the second quarter, following a 0.5 percent rise in the first quarter.

Germany's inflation accelerated to a four-month high in August on energy prices, final data from Destatis showed Wednesday.

Consumer price inflation rose to 1.8 percent in August from 1.7 percent in July. The rate came in line with the preliminary estimate released on August 30. This was the highest since April, when the rate was 2 percent.

Germany's wholesale prices increased at the sharpest pace in four months in August, figures from Destatis showed Wednesday. Wholesale prices grew 3.2 percent year-over-year in August, faster than the 2.2 percent climb in July.

The UK jobless rate dropped unexpectedly in three months to July, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday. The jobless rate fell to 4.3 percent, the lowest since 1975, the ONS said. Economists had forecast the rate to remain unchanged at 4.4 percent, as seen in three months to June.

Producer prices in the U.S. rose by slightly less than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday. The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged up by 0.2 percent in August after slipping by 0.1 percent in July. Economists had expected the index to climb by 0.3 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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