A trader reacts in front of the DAX index board at Frankfurt's stock exchange Aug. 8, 2011. Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Asian markets were mixed following hints of a rate hike in December by the U.S. Federal Reserve Wednesday. U.S. stock futures were trading lower ahead of the release of an advance third-quarter GDP estimate.

In Europe, stocks were trading lower, giving away Wednesday’s gains amid a slew of disappointing corporate earnings. Weak quarterly results sent shares of Germany’s Deutsche Bank and U.K.’s Barclays PLC and Denmark’s Danske Bank lower. Big oil companies like France’s Total, Royal Dutch Shell and Italian energy firm Eni also reported a sharp fall in profit margins due to lower crude oil prices.

The British FTSE 100 was down 0.89 percent while France's CAC 40 was down 0.48 percent, while Germany's DAX was down 0.16 percent and the pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.15 percent.

U.S. stock futures opened weaker with the Dow Jones Industrial index and the S&P 500 index down by about 0.4 percent as investors await third-quarter GDP data, which is set to be released by the commerce department later Thursday. Nasdaq stock futures were down 0.48 percent.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged but its statement was viewed as a signal that interest rates may be raised at its next meeting in December.

Asian markets finished mixed. In China, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.36 percent while the Nasdaq-style Chinext index stayed flat and, in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 0.60 percent. India’s BSE Sensex was down 0.75 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.17 percent, ahead of the Bank of Japan meeting Friday to discuss further stimulus measures.