Stocks across Europe fell Wednesday amid another slide in oil prices as investors waited cautiously for the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting scheduled to take place later in the day. Stocks of European chipmakers also fell after Silicon Valley giant Apple Inc. forecast its first revenue drop in 13 years Tuesday.
While no change in rates is expected at the end of Fed’s two-day meeting that began Tuesday, global markets will be looking at the Fed’s statement for an insight into the policymakers’ views on the economic environment and market volatility since the start of the year.
"What matters for equity investors right now is the assurance from the U.S. Federal Reserve department that they are paying attention to the economic conditions, which are not only taking place domestically, but they also need to react to offshore volatility," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, told CNBC Wednesday.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX was trading lower by 0.63 percent while London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.37 percent. France's CAC 40 fell 0.75 percent while the pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.7 percent during early trade.
Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed Wednesday with Japanese benchmark index, Nikkei 225, leading the charts, up 2.72 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1.02 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi closed up 1.4 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex closed mostly flat.
Elsewhere in Asia, China’s benchmark Shanghai index extended its losses from a tumble, which pushed Chinese stocks to their lowest levels in over a year Tuesday. The Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.52 percent down while the Shenzhen Composite Index closed 0.83 percent lower. China's Nasdaq-style ChiNext Index was up 0.17 percent.
U.S. stock futures traded down as investor sentiment soured over falling crude oil prices and the lackluster outlook by Apple. S&P 500 futures were trading down 0.62 percent and Dow Jones futures were trading down 0.37 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq futures were down 0.96 percent during pre-market trading Wednesday.