European stock markets were mixed Wednesday's as investors responded to yet another raft earnings reports, company statements and comments from policy makers across the continent.

The FTSE 100 in London was the biggest gainer of the major markets, with a return of 0.59%, to close at 7,385.

In Frankfurt the DAX gained 0.05% to close at 12,757 while the CAC 40 slipped 0.05% in Paris before settling at 5,400.

Over in southern Europe, the FTSE MIB eked out a gain of more than 0.2% in Milan, although the IBEX in Madrid recorded a loss for the session.

Of note, in London Barratt Developments (BTDPF) stock rose following a strong trading update, in which it told investors that its order book has swollen to a new record. The British house builder's stock was up by more than 2% at the close.

British Gas owner Centrica (CPYYY) saw its stock recover some of Tuesday's losses, rising just more than 1% during trading, in the wake of Tuesday's carnage.

The shares had sold off the previous day out of fears for the British Gas owner's dividend given U.K. government plans to cap the energy prices charged to households.

On the downside, Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMPY) fell sharply in London ahead of a crucial decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on whether to approve its generic Advair asthma treatment.

Price action in the stock raises the question of whether the decision has made its way to the market on the quiet or if investors are just bearish on the generic drugmaker's prospect for success. 

Hikma was expected to hear of the FDA's decision on Wednesday but representatives for the company could not be reached for comment when contacted by TheStreet on Wednesday.

The stock was down by 1.5% at the close while Glaxo (GSK) shares were up by the same amount, amid broad strength in much of the pharmaceuticals sector. However, fellow Advair challenger Vectura (VEGPF) also saw its stock fall, this time by more than 3%. 

Diageo (DEO) was hit with an unexpected bill by the U.K.'s tax authority Wednesday as part of a clampdown designed to prevent companies from hiding profits overseas in lower tax jurisdictions.

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has notified Diageo that a preliminary decision notice is en route in the post, requiring the drinksmaker to cough up £107 million ($138 million) to cover unpaid taxes and interest for the year ending June 30 2016.

Diageo stock fell more than 0.50%, to change hands at 2,278 pence, far outpacing the 0.12% loss of the STOXX Europe 600 Food & Beverages index.

In Frankfurt, Adidas (ADDYY) was the top faller as the shares pulled back although, with the company having delivered strong results last week, they very recently touched a new record. The stock slipped nearly 2% during Wednesday's session.

In Paris, gains of 1.5% or more at Technip (TKPPY) , Accor (ACCYY) and Veolia (VEOEY) proved insufficient to offset losses elsewhere on the broader market.

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