- European stocks were mixed on Wednesday, as markets were jittery ahead of the Federal Reserve''s meeting minutes due later in the day, as well as a speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

During European afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 edged 0.13% higher, France’s CAC 40 eased 0.06%, while Germany’s DAX added 0.10%.

European equities found support on Monday after ECB Vice President Benoit Coeure said Sunday that rates will remain on hold for an extended period to ensure monetary stability in the euro zone.

The ECB left all rates on hold at its meeting last Thursday, after cutting rates to record lows in June in a bid to stave off the threat of persistently low inflation in the region.

Financial stocks remained mixed, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) plummeted 1.23% and 1.84%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) gained 0.44%.

Among peripheral lenders however, Italy''s Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) advanced 0.81% and 1.45% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) climbed 0.42% and 0.61%.

Elsewhere, Deutsche Telekom (XETRA:DTEGn) slid 0.49% amid reports the phone carrier is considering whether it needs a new Wi-Fi partner to replace Let’s Gowex and ensure clients have connections in cities served by the Spanish company.

Let’s Gowex recently made headlines when it said that it had falsified financial accounts for the past four years.

In London, FTSE 100 dropped 0.52%, still weighed by Aviva, down 4.09%, after Chief Executive Officer Mark Wilson pledged to continue cost cuts and focus on a smaller number of markets in a move to boost the insurer''s earnings.

Financial stocks were also broadly lower, as HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) dropped 0.89%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) tumbled 1.25% and 1.90% respectively.

Earlier Wednesday, Barclays announced that it was selling an exchange-traded note tied to public companies with female executives, betting on demand for products that promote women in leadership.

Meanwhile, mining stocks were mixed. Polymetal (LONDON:POLYP) declined 0.70% and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) lost 1%, while Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) gained 0.43% and Randgold Resources (LONDON:RRS) jumped 1.72%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.07% loss, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.03% dip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.03% uptick.

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