LONDON (Reuters) – European shares broadly held their ground on Wednesday morning following limited gains on Asian stock markets ahead of a widely expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the United States.
The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> was down 0.03 percent by 0717 GMT after rising during the previous session with energy stocks buoyed by Brent crude prices at four-year highs.
The top gainer on the STOXX was France’s Bouygues <BOUY.PA> after the stock was upgraded to overweight by JP Morgan.
A rating cut by Barclays prompted the worst lost of the index with Belgium’s Telenet <TNET.BR> down 4.6 percent.
In the banking sector, Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> lost 1.4 percent after a report said it has looked at a theoretical scenario of merging with UBS <UBSG.S>. The Swiss bank lost 1.5 percent.
(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Andrew Heavens)