Italy's top financial index weakens slightly
Spread between Italian, German bonds holds at 198 basis points08 January, 18:40
The FTSE Mib ended the trading day down by 0.17% at 19,436 points after gaining fully 1.22% on Tuesday as markets cheered the formal appointment of Janet Yellen as new chair of the United States Federal Reserve.
But Wednesday, market watchers turned their attention to the European Central Bank, which holds its first policy meeting of the new year on Thursday.
Analysts generally forecast stable interest rates from the ECB, despite the fact that weak inflation numbers on Tuesday hinted at deflation.
Some suggest that could drive new stimulus measures from the ECB.
On the Italian bond market, the spread between Italy's benchmark 10-year bond and its ultra-safe German counterpart was unchanged from Tuesday's close of 198 basis points, with the yield on Italy's 10-year paper ending trading at 3.88%.
The spread between lending rates in the two countries is an important indication of investor faith in the Italian economy.
On other European markets, Spain's IBEX 35 rose by 0.74%, closing at 10,253.60 and Frankfurt's DAX slid lower by 0.09%, closing at 9,497.84 points.
In Paris, the CAC 40 slipped by 0.04%, ending trading at 4,260.96 points, while in London, the FTSE index of leading British shares fell by 0.50% on the day, closing at 6,721.78.