European markets were mixed at the end of Wednesday's trading day as investors await clues on a U.S. rate rise when Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen speaks in Jackson Hole on Friday.
Euro Stoxx 600 ended the day 0.24% up at 344.44. The market was the calmest it has been in 17 months, the volatility measure Vstoxx hitting its lowest average since March 2015.
In London, the FTSE 100 closed 0.48% down at 6,835.78.
Lloyds (LYG) - Get Report gained 2.91% on Wednesday. The banking group's CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio today reportedly apologized for the banks staff for allegation that he had an extramarital affair while on a business trip.
A British tabloid newspaper had printed pictures of Horta-Osorio with a woman who was not his wife during a business trip to Singapore.
"I deeply regret being the cause of so much adverse publicity and the damage that has been done to the group's reputation," Horta-Osorio wrote, according to the Wall Street Journal. He also said that he paid for any personal expenses incurred on the trip.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - Get Report was up 1.27%. The bank today told 3,000 of its global transaction-services clients outside of the U.K. that their services would not work after Dec. 31, urging them to find another bank. RBS last year decided to exit the transactional banking business outside of the U.K. and Ireland, Bloomberg reported.
AstraZeneca (AZN) - Get Report ended the day steady on Wednesday after announcing it had sold its small molecule antibiotics toPfizer (PFE) - Get Report in a deal that could be worth up to $1.5 billion.
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Advertising giant WPP (WPPGY) gained 3.69% today after saying that a drop in the pound due to the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union could help the country's ad market. WPP saw revenue rise by 11.9% in the first half of the year to £6.5 billion. Profit before tax had fallen 40.1% compared with the same time period last year to £425 million.
Mining stocks led the losers on the FTSE 100 this morning as commodity prices fell.
Glencore (GLNCY) was down 3.13%. In the first half of the year, earnings decreased 13% to $4 billion, in line with analysts' expectations. The company said it has stepped up its debt reduction program to combat falling earnings. It is now targeting net debt of between $16.5 billion and $17.5 billion by the end of the year. It had previously aimed for net debt of between $17 billion and $18 billion.
In Frankfurt, the Dax was up 0.29% to 10,623.97 and the Cac 40 was down 0.31% to 4,435.08.
Europe's largest economy Germany grew by 0.4% in the second quarter, in line with expectations, according to official numbers from statistics office Destatis.
The growth was lower than the 0.7% seen in the first quarter of the year.
Volkswagen (VLKAY) was down 0.08% today. The company yesterday settled a dispute with suppliers that had stopped production on its flagship Golf model. Yesterday, the German car maker also agreed to hold settlement talks with several U.S. states over its emission-testing scandal.