LONDON (TheDeal) -- European stock markets were little changed after steep losses on Tuesday, with better-than-expected earnings releases from some major companies limiting further declines.
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee concludes a two-day meeting today and will make a policy announcement after European markets close. The status quo is expected.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.03% to 7,032.68 by late morning. In Frankfurt, the DAX was unchanged at 11,811.81, and in Paris, the CAC 40 was down 0.13% to 5,166.81.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator compiled by the European Union's statistics arm unexpectedly fell 0.2 points to 103.7 for the eurozone in April, ending three consecutive months of improved readings.
In Paris, logistics company Norbert Dentressangle was up more than 36% at €216.80 after Greenwich, Conn.-based transport rollup XPO Logistics (XPO - Get Report) late Tuesday announced a €217.50-per-share deal to buy the company. The takeover is worth €3.24 billion ($3.53 billion), including debt.
Among earnings gainers, U.K. clothing retailer Next (NXGPY-- a FTSE 100 company -- was up more than 3% in London after announcing first-half sales growth of 4.1%, almost double the pace that analysts had predicted. The figures were helped by an early launch of a new brochure and a spell of warm weather, and the company left its full-year sales and profit forecasts unchanged.
French building materials maker Cie. de Saint-Gobain (CODGF led the rises on the Eurostoxx 50 index after noting positive trends in Asia and emerging markets, and a "robust" construction market in North America as it posted first-quarter results.
And Dutch chemicals maker Royal DSM (RDSMY gained after posting an 11% rise in first-quarter sales and updating its full-year forecast to predict higher EBITDA , thanks mainly to favorable currency developments.
In Madrid, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA, Spain's No. 2 lender, fell despite managing to more than double net profit in its first quarter amid worries about margin pressure.
And in London, Barclays (BCS edged lower after announcing first-quarter underlying revenue and earnings figures that fell below consensus expectations. The company took a £1 billion ($1.5 billion) provision for potential fines for alleged foreign exchange misdemeanors and for compensation for "missold" payment protection insurance.
In Brussels, food retailer Delhaize (DEG was down more than 6% by late morning after announcing first-quarter results that showed that same-store sales fell in its European markets of Belgium and southeast Europe. The company runs the Food Lion and Hannaford chains in the U.S.
In Frankfurt, Commerzbank (CRZBY regained ground some of the ground it lost yesterday after completing the sale of €1.4 billion of stock via an accelerated bookbuild.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 0.15% to 28,400.34. Mainland Chinese indices closed the day higher.
Tokyo exchanges are closed today for a public holiday.