European markets closed higher on Wednesday as global investors brace themselves for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy decision.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index provisionally ended up 0.3%, slightly trimming earlier gains. The benchmark index fell 1.2% yesterday to its lowest level in nearly a month, according to Reuters data.
UniCredit was up almost 4% after it smashed analyst forecasts and raised its guidance for the year.
“I think it’s a combination of a positive macro, probably better than we expected, and the fact that our continued transformation is probably boosting our results, and our lines of defense are keeping our cost of risk low,” CEO Andrea Orcel told CNBC.
The European banking sector provisionally ended down 0.5% amid continued U.S. regional banking jitters.
Investors also digested results from BNP Paribas, the euro zone’s biggest bank, which ended the session around 1.5% lower after reporting a doubling of profit in the first quarter. The U.K.’s Lloyds slipped 3.4% after it beat profit forecasts but warned it saw early signs of stress among some of its customers.
Oil and gas stocks extended Tuesday’s sharp losses as oil prices fell further, declining another 0.8%.
Mining stocks, meanwhile, led gains, up 1%.
Asia-Pacific markets closed mostly lower, while on Wall Street, stocks were slightly higher in early U.S. trade.
Most economists surveyed by Reuters said they expect the Fed to hike rates by 25 basis points. The decision is due at 2 p.m. ET.
This article was originally published by CNBC.