(RTTNews) - U.K. stocks edged lower on Wednesday as the U.K. readied itself for a December 12 general election and retailer Next said sales in September were hit by unusually warm weather.
Markets also braced for what seems almost assuredly to be a third rate cut in as many meetings of the Federal Reserve later today.
The Federal Open Market Committee announcement is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference with Powell at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 10 points, or 0.13 percent, at 7,296 after declining 0.3 percent the previous day.
Next tumbled 3 percent after it blamed "unusually warm weather" for a slump in September sales.
Passport maker De La Rue plunged as much as 20 percent after issuing another profit warning.
Standard Chartered rallied 2.3 percent after its Q3 profit topped forecasts.
Drug major AstraZeneca gained nearly 1 percent after it agreed the sale and license of the commercial rights to Seroquel and Seroquel XR in Europe and Russia to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel GmbH.
BBA Aviation, a provider of global aviation support and aftermarket services, dropped 1 percent after it announced the pricing of an offering of $650 million principal amount of 4.00 percent senior unsecured notes due 2028.
Smurfit Kappa Group climbed almost 2 percent after reporting an 11 percent increase in EBITDA for the nine-month period ending 30 September 2019.
In economic news, the U.K. economy would be 3.5 percent smaller with the new Brexit deal compared to continued EU membership, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said in a report.
The think tank said the economic outlook is clouded by significant economic and political uncertainty and depends critically on the nation's trading relationships after Brexit.
The economy is forecast to expand 1.4 percent each this year and next based on the assumption that the terms of EU trade remain unchanged.
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