(Adds quote, updates prices)
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 percent
* Heineken, UCB, Volkswagen rally after results
* Meggitt sinks after profit warning
* Fed seen keeping rates unchanged
By Alistair Smout and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, Oct 28 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Wednesday, buoyed by good company earnings and expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will decide to keep rates near zero at today’s policy meeting.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.4 percent at 1,475 points after falling 1 percent in the previous session. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.6 percent.
The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and may struggle to convince sceptical investors it can tighten monetary policy before the end of the year in the face of slowing U.S. and global economies.
“I doubt (Fed chair Janet) Yellen would want to sound particularly aggressive. The latest data have been mediocre ... and more time is needed to evaluate how far China and emerging markets have stabilised. And commodities prices have fallen,” said Giuseppe Sersale, fund manager at Italy’s Anthilia Capital Partners.
The Fed will disclose its decision at 1800 GMT.
Brewer Heineken rose 4.3 percent, the biggest gain in the FTSEurofirst 300, after reporting sales in Europe and the Americas came in above expectations.
Belgian pharmaceutical firm UCB rose 3.7 percent after its own well-received results.
Carmaker Volkswagen also rose 3.4 percent after announcing its first quarterly loss in at least 15 years, with traders expressing relief that the results were not worse after it was hit by an emissions test cheating scandal.
“Investors are glad this is out of the way, which is why shares turned higher. Volkswagen’s sales figures are holding up quite well, but we need to wait a couple of months to see the real fall-out,” said Markus Huber, a sales trader at Peregrine & Black.
A quarter of STOXX Europe 600 companies have reported results, and 59 percent have beaten or met expectations, Thomson Reuters Starmine data showed.
On the broader STOXX Europe 600, Saipem rose 8.8 percent after it announced a cash call. Dialog rebounded from declines this week after announcing disappointing on Monday. It provides chips for Apple, whose results also beat expectations.
Elsewhere, Sweden said it would expand its bond-buying programme, spurring an initial outperformance in Swedish blue chips. They later pared some gain to rise 0.3 percent.
Hopes that the European Central Bank would expand its own asset purchases in December, combined with a rate cut in China, helped the FTSEurofirst 300 to two-month highs at the end of last week.
Meggitt fell 20 percent after a profit warning and British bank Lloyds dropped 4.6 percent after taking a further charge for mis-selling insurance and seeing profit miss expectations.
Today’s European research round-up
Editing by Larry King