European markets volatile on earnings and US worries

<p>Stocks in Europe switched between gains and losses in morning trading.</p>

European investors traded in a volatile session this morning (April 29th) ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement, which is expected to give clues on when it will start raising interest rates.

The first-quarter US gross domestic product report is also due later today, with economists expecting quarterly growth of one per cent, down from 2.2 per cent in the previous period, AP reports.

European traders "will find it difficult not to focus on this evening, not as they wish the day away, but due to the importance that will be attached to the phraseology of the latest US Federal Open Market Committee statement," said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG, in a note seen by Dow Jones Business News.

Investors also weighed-in corporate earnings, with Delhaize Group SA's shares falling 6.4 per cent after it released its first-quarter results, with underlying operating profit standing at €173 million (£124 million), below expectations. Next PLC shares climbed 2.9 per cent after the British clothing retailer posted a 3.2 per cent rise in full-price sales.

France's CAC 40 fell 0.2 per cent to 5,164.49, while the UK's FTSE 100 remained flat at 7,031.41.

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