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European markets under pressure ahead of Federal Reserve meeting

European markets were under pressure this morning, as investors paused for breath ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged down by around 0.1% during mid-morning deals, with most sectors in negative territory and major bourses pointing in opposite territories.

Europe's food and beverages sector slipped around 0.8% this morning after a Mexican bottler and retailer announced it had sold a stake in the world's second-largest brewer. Fomento Economico Mexicano (Femsa) said yesterday that it had sold a 5.24% stake in Heineken. Shares of the Dutch brewer fell more than 3.5% on the news.

Meantime, Eurofins Scientific surged to the top of the benchmark in mid-morning deals after it announced an agreement to acquire EAG Laboratories from Odyssey Investment Partners. Shares of the French pharmaceutical company soared over 5.4 percent.

Looking at individual stocks, Finland's mining equipment maker Metsowas also moving higher on Tuesday after Morgan Stanley raised its stock recommendation to "equal-weight" from "underweight". Its shares were over 5 percent higher.

Ocado slumped towards the bottom of the pan-European Stoxx 600 on Tuesday morning, after the firm cautioned investors that its efforts to scale up capacity in the coming months could increase costs in the short term. The British online grocer reported a slight acceleration in sales in its fiscal third quarter, ahead of the industry average. Its shares dipped 2.2 percent.

United Nations General Assembly

Asian shares slipped on Tuesday despite record highs on Wall Street in the previous session. U.S. Treasury yields appeared to boost financial shares on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average notching a record high for the fifth consecutive session and the S&P 500 also hitting another record high.

The Federal Reserve is poised to begin a two-day meeting later on today as investors awaited further clues regarding U.S. monetary policy. The central bank is expected hold interest rates steady.

Elsewhere, President Donald Trump is set to make his first appearance at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Tuesday. At a special meeting on UN reform on Monday, Trump suggested the UN had not fulfilled its potential because of mismanagement and bureaucracy issues. He is expected to call for a harder line on North Korea and Iran on Tuesday.

On Monday, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said any pending interest rate rises over the coming months would be limited and gradual, prompting sterling to retreat from its highest level since the Brexit vote. The U.K. currency fell almost 1% on Monday, though pared some of its losses today to trade at $1.3504 at around 11:40 a.m. London time.

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