European markets fell on Tuesday as investors eagerly awaited the start of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 the index closed down 0.12%, with the sectors split into positive and negative territory. Retail stocks saw the biggest losses, down 1.6%, while banking and oil and gas stocks both rose around 1%.
Investors widely expect the U.S. central bank to keep interest rates steady when it announces its latest policy decision on Wednesday, and will evaluate the move to get a better sense of the central bank’s stance on inflation .
Decisions are also due to be made this week by central banks in the UK, Switzerland, Turkey and elsewhere.
Oil prices continued to rise for a fourth consecutive session, darkening the global inflation picture. Brent crude futures expiring in November were up 1% at $95.38 a barrel as of 4 p.m. in London.
Final euro zone inflation figures for August were revised slightly downwards from 5.3% year-on-year to 5.2%, with monthly inflation at 0.5%. The annual figure in July was 5.3%.
The European Central Bank last week raised its key interest rate to a record 4%, estimating that rates could be at a level sufficient to bring inflation back towards its target if sustained long enough.