(Bloomberg) -- European stocks edged lower, but stayed near a record high, ahead of earnings from chipmaker Nvidia Corp. and the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting due later Wednesday. The UK’s FTSE 100 lagged behind after disappointing earnings from heavyweights.

The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.2% at the close in London, led by declines in health care and banking stocks. Among individual movers, HSBC Holdings Plc slumped the most in nearly four years as it reported an 80% drop in fourth-quarter profit after taking unexpected charges, while commodities giant Glencore Plc fell as it reported a steep drop in earnings. The two companies were among the biggest decliners on the UK benchmark, which was 0.8% lower. 

Elsewhere, Dutch coffee seller JDE Peet’s NV slid as full-year results missed estimates.

Nvidia — which has far outperformed the Nasdaq 100 since the start of 2023 — is among companies to have demonstrated significant revenue growth from artificial intelligence and investors are watching for confirmation that it can meet high expectations. Meanwhile, China is back in focus after policymakers took more steps to revive investor confidence.

The pan-European stock benchmark is close to a record, but has been unable to breach it, unlike its US counterpart. There are expectations that an improving economy and hopes for interest-rate cuts will push the gauge to an all-time high. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategists raised their 2024 target last week, expecting the Stoxx 600 to be trading at new highs by the end of the year.

“People think we are past the recession and everyone is looking at rate cuts, which are now more realistic in Europe, around June, but still a bit too soon for the US. If the Fed puts off cuts in May, we might see a bit of a dip,” said Susana Cruz, a strategist at Liberum. “However, we do expect a better tone for the second half, given better growth and rates expectations leading to re-ratings and earnings upgrades.”

For more on equity markets:

  • Currency Drag for Swiss Firms Isn’t Over Just Yet: Taking Stock
  • M&A Watch Europe: Saint Gobain, Danone, Urban Logistics, Lectra
  • Sunrise to Join Europe Spinoffs Despite Mixed Record: ECM Watch
  • US Stock Futures Little Changed; Palo Alto Networks Falls
  • Barclays’ Booster: The London Rush

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