European markets were mostly lower on Tuesday, as investors remained cautious ahead of upcoming monetary policy meetings scheduled this week in the U.S., the euro zone and the UK.

The EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.23%, France’s CAC 40 declined 0.42%, while Germany’s DAX 30 was down 0.13% by 03:40 a.m. ET (07:40 GMT).

On Wednesday the Fed was widely expected to raise interest rates by 0.25% at the conclusion of its policy meeting.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England were both set to release their policy statements on Thursday.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) andBNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) declined 0.63% and 0.51%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank(DE:DBKGn) and Commerbank fell 0.28% and 0.16%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) slid 0.49%, while Spanish bank BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) retreated 0.55% and 0.11% respectively.

Unibail Rodamco SE (AS:UNBP) added to losses, with shares down 3.39% after the company agreed to buy Australian-based Westfield Corporation for $24.7 billion.

On the upside, shares in Atos SE (PA:ATOS) soared 4.21% after the French IT services group said the government approved its unsolicited offer to buy struggling rival Gemalto(AS:GTO), in a deal worth €4.3 billion.

In London, FTSE 100 inched up 0.05%, helped by Ashtead Group (LON:AHT), whose shares surged 4.76% after the company aid on Tuesday that chairman Chris Cole will be stepping down. The firm also raised its full year guidance as hurricanes in the U.S. increased first half revenues.

Experian PLC (LON:EXPN) was also on the upside, as shares rallied 1.81% after the consumer credit bureau said it will be acquiring a 25% minority stake in mortgage brokerage London & Country Mortgages Limited.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were broadly lower. Shares in Barclays (LON:BARC) fell 0.23% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) slid 0.36%, while Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) dropped 0.47% and HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) declined 0.60%.

Mining stocks were also weaker on the commodity-heavy index, as Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) slipped 0.19% and Rio Tinto retreated 0.71%, while Glencore (LON:GLEN) tumbled 1.28%

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.03% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.02% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.02% uptick.