European stocks were steady to higher on Wednesday, as investors eyed the Federal Reserve’s upcoming policy statement due later in the day, while investors still remained cautious amid ongoing concerns over the risk of deflation in the euro zone. During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dipped 0.02%, France’s CAC 40 eased 0.04%, while Germany’s DAX 30 inched up 0.01%. Markets were jittery after data on Tuesday showed that euro zone consumer price inflation fell 0.3% last month, in line with expectations and unchanged from a preliminary estimate. The rate remains firmly below the European Central Bank’s target of near but just below 2%. Another report showed that German economic sentiment improved to the highest level in 13 months in March. The ZEW Centre for Economic Research said that its index of German economic sentiment rose to 54.8 this month from February’s reading of 53.0. Separately, market participants were eyeing Wednesday’s Fed statement to see if it would drop its reference to being patient before raising rates and signal that it is ready to hike rates depending on economic data. Financial stocks were mixed, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) rose 0.31% and 0.12%, while Germany’s Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) declined 0.17% and 0.67%. Among peripheral lenders, Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) rose 0.28% and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) lost 0.58% in Italy, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) inched up 0.01% and 0.03% respectively. Elsewhere, Inditex (MADRID:ITX) SA surged 1.99% after the Spanish clothing retailer said that annual profit was in line with expectations and that sales rose 13% at the start of the first quarter. In London, FTSE 100 rose 0.35%, led by Standard Chartered (LONDON:STAN), up 6.04%, after Barclays (LONDON:BARC) upgraded the stock to “overweight”, saying a new chief executive officer marks a turning point for the lender. Other U.K. financial stocks were mixed, as the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) slipped 0.11% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) fell 0.29%, while HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) added 0.16% and Barclays climbed 0.79%. Meanwhile, mining stocks were broadly lower. Shares in Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) tumbled 1.29% and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) lost 1.61%, while rival company Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) plunged 3.30%. In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.13% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.15% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.13% rise.