September 26, 2018 / 7:45 AM / 3 months ago

European shares steady ahead of Fed's expected rate hike

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LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - European shares broadly held their ground on Wednesday morning following limited gains on Asian stock markets ahead of a widely expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the United States.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.03 percent by 0717 GMT after rising during the previous session with energy stocks buoyed by Brent crude prices at four-year highs.

The top gainer on the STOXX was France's Bouygues after the stock was upgraded to overweight by JP Morgan.

A rating cut by Barclays prompted the worst lost of the index with Belgium's Telenet down 4.6 percent.

In the banking sector, Deutsche Bank lost 1.4 percent after a report said it has looked at a theoretical scenario of merging with UBS. The Swiss bank lost 1.5 percent. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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