European markets opened higher on Tuesday, ahead of the US Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which begins later in the day.

Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 opened 0.2% higher in early trading.

Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.2% in early deals.

France's CAC 40, Spain's IBEX and Italy's FTSE MIB opened 0.3% higher each.

Germany's DAX opened 0.4% higher

The Fed could provide more clarity on the future pace of US monetary stimulus at the end of the two-day meet, on Wednesday.

Market participants will also be tracking preliminary GDP data from Spain. The Bank of Spain has forecast that the eurozone's fourth largest economy will contract 0.1% in the second quarter, from a 0.5% contraction in the first quarter of 2013.

In Italy, the final court verdict in Silvio Berlusconi's tax fraud trial is expected during the day. The billionaire former prime minister could face prison and a ban from public office.

In company news, oil major BP, French mobile phone maker Alcatel-Lucent and Italian automaker Fiat will all report earnings during the day.

Britain's Barclays, Germany's Deutsche Bank, Switzerland's UBS have all released results while Spain's Santander will also put out earnings today.

Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, will pay $885m in a settlement with US regulators over allegations that it misrepresented mortgage-backed bonds during the housing bubble. Other European banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Barclays and Deutsche Bank could face costly settlements.

In Asia and the US

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei finished 1.53% higher on Tuesday, boosted by a weaker yen. Australia's S&P/ASX index closed 0.03% higher while South Korea's Kospi closed 0.90% higher.

Earlier in Asia, most markets opened higher after China's central bank injected funds into the money markets for the first time since February. However, market participants exercised caution ahead of the Fed's policy decision later this week.

In China, the government is treading with caution, when it comes to radical reforms, as the world's second largest economy posted lower-than expected economic growth data.

In Japan, industrial production has declined for the first time in five months in June. Government data showed that industrial production declined 3.3% from the previous month. The decline compares to a revised 1.9% gain in May and analysts' expectations for a decline by 1.8%.

Household spending in Asia's third largest economy fell 0.4% from a year earlier, while analysts had expected growth of 1.0%.

In Seoul, government data showed that factory output bounced back 0.4% in June from the previous month. However, output fell 2.6% on an annual basis in June

On Wall Street, indices ended lower ahead of the Fed's policy decision and the monthly nonfarm payrolls data for July.

The Dow finished 36.86 points lower at 15,521.97, pulled down by Bank of America and Hewlett-Packard. The S&P 500 closed 6.32 points lower at 1,685.33. while the Nasdaq ended 14.02 points lower at 3,599.14.