European Markets Finish Higher On Wednesday

The major European markets moved higher for the second straight day on Wednesday, opening in the green and remaining that way throughout the session.

The markets responded to comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who sounded less hawkish than expected in a Congressional testimony. Powell indicated that interest rates are likely to rise this year, but monetary policy will take a broad and forward-looking view, keeping pace with an ever-evolving economy.

The December inflation report from the United States also provided positive sentiment; while the annual rate of consumer price growth reached the highest level in almost 40 years, traders seem relieved the acceleration was not even more significant.

Solid Eurozone data also gave the markets a lift.

For the day, Germany's DAX climbed 68.51 points or 0.43 percent to finish at 16,010.32, while London's FTSE jumped 60.35 points or 0.81 percent to close at 7,551.72 and the CAC 40 in France advanced 53.81 points or 0.75 percent to end at 7,237.19.

In Germany, RWE Aktiengesellschaft spiked 2.02 percent, while Deutsche Post jumped 1.70 percent, Deutsche Borse rallied 1.51 percent, Siemens Aktiengesellschaft climbed 1.28 percent, Deutsche Telekom advanced 1.00 percent, Infineon Technologies shed 0.81 percent, Deutsche Bank sank 0.73 percent and Heidelberg Cement added 0.63 percent.

In London, Antofagasta skyrocketed 7.49 percent, while Royal Dutch Shell surged 2.73 percent, Scottish Mortgage Investment spiked 1,96 percent, Vodafone jumped 0.86 percent, Rightmove advanced 0.78 percent, British American Tobacco gained 0.29 percent, Rolls-Royce Holdings dipped 0.09 percent and Tesco eased 0.02 percent.

In France, Schneider Electric jumped 2.72 percent, while Credit Agricole spiked 2.15 percent, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain climbed 1.73 percent, BNP Paribas advanced 1.51 percent, Societe Generale improved 1.31 percent, Veolia Environmental slumped 1.26 percent, Orange improved 0.60 percent, Vivendi gained 0.59 percent and Airbus rose 0.22 percent.

In economic news, Eurozone industrial production rose for the first time in four months in November, preliminary data from Eurostat showed Wednesday. Industrial production grew 2.3 percent month-on-month following a 1.3 percent fall in the previous month. The increase was the first since July. Economists had forecast a 0.5 percent gain.

Germany's wholesale price inflation moderated in December but remained at an elevated level, data from Destatis showed on Wednesday. Wholesale prices increased 16.1 percent year-on-year in December, following November's 16.6 percent increase, the fastest growth since 1962.

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