European stocks end steady before Fed policy decision

miércoles 16 de marzo de 2016 13:40 GYT

* Firmer oil prices lift shares of energy companies

* Brenntag rises after forecasting more growth

* Bilfinger slumps after scrapping dividend

* Deutsche Bank, UBS lead declines among banks (Adds details, closing prices)

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni

LONDON/MILAN, March 16 (Reuters) - European stocks ended little changed on Wednesday, coming off session highs after a report showed U.S. inflation rose more than expected last month, with gains for energy and auto company shares offset by a weaker banking sector.

Underlying inflation in the United States rose more in February than expected, data showed on Wednesday, bolstering the case for higher interest rates a few hours before the Federal Reserve's announces its policy decision.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.02 percent at 1,341.8 points and euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.2 percent, while Britain's FTSE rose on the back of proposals in finance minister George Osborne's annual budget statement.

"It is unlikely that we'll get a move tonight, but I am definitely looking for a hawkish lean from the Fed," Saxo Bank's head of forex strategy, John Hardy, said.   Continuación...