European stock markets rose on Wednesday as investors looked to the Federal Reserve for an update on the outlook for US interest rates against a background of global economic strains.
Dealers also pored over another batch of company earnings, while shares in Sanofi slumped after the French drugs giant fired its chief executive.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index advanced 0.59 percent to stand at 6,440.00 points approaching midday in the British capital.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 climbed 0.64 percent to 9,125.89 points and in Paris the CAC 40 edged up 0.06 percent to 4,115.18 compared with Tuesday's close.
The Fed ends a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, with traders expecting the central bank to end the vast asset-purchase stimulus programme credited with propping up US growth after the 2008 financial crisis.
Economists and traders widely anticipate that the Federal Open Market Committee will use a post-meeting statement, due at 1800 GMT, to announce the end of the six-year-old "quantitative easing" (QE) scheme.
But traders are more interested in what policymakers have to say about interest rates.
The Fed is expected to stay the course on near-zero rates, after repeatedly saying the first rise would come "a considerable time" after the bond-buying stops.
"You could be forgiven for thinking that the Fed is not about to end QE today," said Brenda Kelly, chief market strategist at IG trading group.
"The reaction in markets has not exactly been what many predicted, with investors apparently sanguine about the prospect of life without regular bond purchases by the US central bank."
In foreign exchange deals, the euro nudged higher to $1.2736 from $1.2733 late in New York on Tuesday.
The European single currency rose to 79.02 British pence from 78.92 pence.
The British pound fell to $1.6118 from $1.6135 on Tuesday.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold eased to $1,228 an ounce from $1,229.25 an ounce on Tuesday.
In share price movement, Sanofi stock was down 3.80 percent at 71.7 euros in midday Paris deals after losing more than 10 percent the day before over disappointing earnings.
On Wednesday, the company fired chief executive Christopher Viehbacher after a row over his management style.
Shares in Total gained 1.38 percent to 46.12 euros as the company recovering from the recent death of its chief executive in a plane crash reported a profit fall in the third quarter on declining oil and gas production.
Christophe de Margerie died last week when his private jet crashed in Russia. He was largely credited with the group's international expansion and had focused on raising production, in particular through operations in Russia.
Spanish bank BBVA slipped 2.57 percent to 8.95 euros despite announcing that its profits tripled in the third quarter.