The Deal: European Stocks Mixed Amid U.S. Budget Impasse

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stock indices were mixed Wednesday as the U.S. budget impasse continued and as President Obama prepared to announce the nomination of Federal Reserve Gov. Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as the central bank's chairman.

In Germany, the DAX was little changed, down 4.28 at 8,551,61 by mid-morning. Leading utilities E.ON and RWE were both up more than 2%.

In the U.K., the FTSE was down 22.91, or 0.36%, at 6,342.92. Homebuilder Persimmon rose 4.5%. A government scheme to help consumers finance home purchases is expected to boost the construction sector. U.K. industrial output unexpectedly fell both year-on-year and month-on-month in August, challenging the growing conviction that the country's economic recovery is on track. Britain's trade deficit narrowed in August to 3.3 billion pounds ($5.3 billion) from 3.5 billion pounds but was wider than consensus expectations.

In Paris, carmaker Peugeot rose 1.3% on a report that China's Dongfeng Motor may spend about $1.6 billion on a stake in the company.

In Milan, Telecom Italia rose 2.4%, recovering from recent losses after last week's ouster of CEO Franco Bernabe. Moody's Investors Service late Tuesday cut Telecom Italia's credit rating to junk status.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 0.63% at 23,033.97. The Nikkei in Japan gained 1.03% to 14,037.84 with exporters including Toyota ( TM) among the gainers as the yen declined in value on news of Obama's nomination of Yellen.

Standard & Poor's futures were up 5.4 at 1,655.50.