European Stocks Close Mixed With Fed Meeting in Focus; Nokia Up 3%

Al Drego | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • The Federal Open Market Committee is due to meet on March 16 and 17 and some analysts expect the U.S. central bank to revise up its GDP forecast.
  • Danone shares climbed after Chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber was ousted following pressure from activist investors.
  • Nokia saw its shares rise 3% after partnering with Amazon, Microsoft and Google to create new cloud-based 5G radio offerings.

LONDON — European stocks closed mixed on Monday as global investors focused on this week's upcoming Federal Reserve meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished flat, paring earlier gains. Travel and leisure stocks jumped 2.3% while basic resources fell 1.4%. Major European bourses were pointing in opposite directions by the close.

The Federal Open Market Committee is due to meet on March 16 and 17 and some analysts expect the U.S. central bank to revise up its GDP forecast, following a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus package that will send direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans.

The FOMC following Tuesday and Wednesday's Federal Open Market Committee meeting will also deliver its decision on interest rates. The bond market will likely take its cues from the Federal Reserve in the coming week. Bond pros are also watching to see whether Fed officials will tweak their interest rate outlook, which now does not include any rate hikes through 2023.

On Wall Street Monday, stocks retreated from their record highs.

Back in Europe, Germany and Italy became the latest countries to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford vaccine over concerns about possible side effects, despite the World Health Organization saying there is no link between the shot and an increased risk of developing blood clots. Shares of AstraZeneca rose 0.4% on Monday.

On Friday, the head of Germany's public health agency on Friday warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections had begun.

Biggest movers

Near the top of the Stoxx 600, Finnish telecoms giant Nokia saw its shares rise 3% after partnering with Amazon, Microsoft and Google to create new cloud-based 5G radio offerings.

Danone shares climbed 2.9% after Chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber was ousted following pressure from activist investors.

Stellantis gained 2% after Deutsche Bank started its coverage of the Peugeot-Fiat Chrysler merger with a "buy" rating.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Dutch bank ABN Amro slid 5% as an investigation by Dutch prosecutors was broadened, according to Reuters.

- CNBC's Maggie Fitzgerald contributed reporting to this story.

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