European Factors to Watch-Shares seen edging higher, focus on Fed
(Updates futures prices, adds company news)
LONDON Dec 16 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to edge higher on Wednesday, mirroring gains on Wall Street and in Asia, with investors awaiting the outcome of a crucial rate-setting meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The Fed is widely expected to announce a rate hike after the end of its two-day policy meeting. It would be the first U.S. rate hike in nearly a decade, signalling the beginning of an end to an expansionary monetary policy that has supplied a tidal wave of liquidity to risk asset markets globally.
The decision will be released at 1900 GMT, with markets prepared for an initial 25 basis point "liftoff" that would move the Fed's target rate from the zero lower bound to a range of between 0.25 and 0.50 percentage points. It is to be followed by a news conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen to elaborate on the central bank's latest policy statement.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were up 0.1 to 0.2 percent by 0747 GMT.
The European Union is set to agree a six-month extension of its economic sanctions on Russia on Friday, once Italy's prime minister has discussed the issue with his fellow leaders at a summit in Brussels, diplomats said on Tuesday. Continuación...