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European Markets Finish Little Changed Ahead Of Central Bank Meetings

The European markets were stuck in a sideways pattern throughout Wednesday's session, but the majority managed to end the day with modest gains. Traders were in a cautious mood ahead of policy decisions from both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England on Thursday.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.47 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.45 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.65 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.52 percent and the CAC of France rose 0.91 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.55 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.51 percent.

In Frankfurt, E.ON tumbled 3.49 percent after Morgan Stanley analysts cut their target price on the stock.

Nordex Group jumped 2.80 percent after winning big-ticket contracts from South Africa to install a total of 80 AW125/3150 turbines for the Garob and Copperton projects.

In Paris, handbag maker Hermes International advanced 3.93 percent after posting record first-half earnings.

In London, Sports Direct International climbed 3.46 percent. The retailer said it expects to achieve between a 5 percent and 15 percent improvement in underlying EBITDA for the current financial year, excluding the acquisition of House of Fraser.

SSE sank 8.28 percent after a warning that its profits for the first six months of the year would be half compared with last year.

Clothing company Inditex jumped 4.58 percent in Madrid after it reported a 3 percent rise in first-half profit and a rise in gross margin despite a stronger euro.

Chemicals company Hexpol jumped 4.78 percent in Stockholm after announcing the acquisition of a U.S. firm.

Pharmaceutical research firm Galapagos soared 17.58 percent in Amsterdam after the company reported positive trial results for its filgotinib drug.

Eurozone industrial production decreased for the second straight month in July, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Industrial output slid 0.8 percent month-on-month in July, the same pace of decline as seen in June. Economists had forecast a moderate drop of 0.5 percent.

Producer prices in the U.S. unexpectedly saw a modest decrease 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 down by 0.1 percent in August after coming in unchanged in July. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2 percent.

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