September 19, 2017 / 7:34 AM / a year ago

European shares edge down with all eyes on the Fed

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Bourses opened slightly lower across Europe on Tuesday as traders awaited clues from the Federal Reserve on its plans to move towards unwinding its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.

Despite Wall Street reaching new highs yet again, shares in Europe followed Asia's overnight caution with the pan-European STOXX index down 0.2 percent.

Financials were some of the only stocks trading in positive territory, as monetary tightening typically benefits lenders. The European banking index was up 0.2 percent with HSBC at the top of the list with a 1 percent rise.

British online grocer Ocado topped the index losers' list with a 5.3 percent fall after the firm reported third-quarter results, saying short-term costs could increase due to investment in a new distribution centre.

Shares in Belgium's Solvay, which agreed to sell its polyamides business to BASF for 1.6 billion euros, declined 0.6 percent. (Julien Ponthus)

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