LONDON (TheDeal) -- European stocks were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of the two-day Fed meeting and digested the latest U.K. labor-market figures.
In London, the FTSE 100 was 0.14% lower at 6,700.88, while the German DAX was down 0.10% at 11,032.91 and the French CAC 40 was 0.28% lower at 4,826.17.
Major indices were see-sawing all morning before the Fed is due to wrap up its policy meeting later today, amid dwindling expectations of a September interest-rate increase in the world's largest economy.
Meanwhile in Europe, there was news of an improving labor market in the U.K. The latest report by the Office for National Statistics failed to distract from the big, fat Greek standoff between Athens and its creditors. The U.K. unemployment rate for February to April 2015 was 5.5%, down from 6.6% a year earlier, as the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work rose to 73.4% from 72.7% a year ago.
E.U. finance ministers are scheduled to meet again on Thursday in Luxembourg to try to hammer out a solution before Greece meets its "Grexit" Waterloo, 200 years to the day that Napoleon was defeated in the famous battle south of Brussels.
In London, Berkeley (BKGFY) climbed more than 8.5% after London's largest homebuilder posted strong full-year earnings. After-tax profit was 44.6% higher over last year, while adjusted earnings per share climbed by 18.8%.
Chairman Tony Pidgley said the company supports the U.K. remaining in the E.U., "as this is the best way for London to remain a world city." The company claims to deliver 10% of all new homes in the British capital and 10% of affordable homes across 74 sites.
In Paris, spirits company Rémy Cointreau (REMYY) climbed after posting strong full-year results and announcing a higher annual dividend.
The maker of Rémy Martin cognac and Cointreau liqueur posted an operating profit of €156 million ($176 million), a 13.5% increase in organic terms over last year. Sales growth was especially strong in liqueurs and spirits, where the company has pursued a strategy of moving upmarket and increasingly internationally.
Shareholders are due to vote on the recommended €1.53 per share dividend in late July, 20.5% higher than last year, with the option of getting paid in cash or shares.
French auto-parts maker Faurecia (FURCY) fell 2.3% after Credit Suisse cut its 2015 to 2017 earnings estimates for auto suppliers, citing market weaknesses in China. The report listed Faurecia as the highest risk given its customer and product profile.
Telecom Italia rose in Milan and Vivendi (VIVHY) climbed in Paris, as media reports fueled speculation about Vivendi building its stake in the Italian company from 8.2% to as much as 15%.
Analyst Eric Ravary at CM-CIC Securities in Paris noted that such a transaction would be "speculative investment" only and potentially confuse Vivendi's message of refocusing on media and content. He left his rating on Vivendi shares unchanged at neutral, with a target price of €21.
Asian stocks were also mixed, with the Hang Seng adding 0.70% in Hong Kong to 26,753.79 as the Nikkei shed 0.19% to 20,219.27 in Tokyo.
In Kuala Lumpur, budget carrier AirAsia slumped more than 6.5%, as CEO Tony Fernandos tried to reassure investors following a research report calling the company's accounting into question. "The airline has lots of cash and other assets should it need to raise money," he said.