Comments this week from Fed officials have raised expectations that the US Federal Reserve could indeed start 'tapering' back its $85 billion (£52 billion) a month stimulus scheme when its FOMC committee meets next week.
News that US Congress last night struck a budget deal to prevent another damaging government shutdown adds to the argument for Fed action.
Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1% to 6,516. Normally Wednesday markets are slightly constrained by companies trading ‘ex-dividend’ but of FTSE 100 stocks only Babcock was trading without its dividend appeal.At the end of today the London market will look different, with FTSE set to announce its quarterly review after markets close this afternoon. Among changes, Royal Mail is expected to take a place on the FTSE 100.
In Italy, there will be a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday to confirm prime minister Enrico Letta’s new majority.