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European Stocks Close Higher On Eurozone Inflation Data

European stocks closed higher on Wednesday, buoyed by data showing eurozone inflation slowing more than expected in the month of November.

Investors also looked ahead to a speech by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on the economic outlook and the labor market at a Brookings Institution event later in the day for clues about the central bank's move with regard to interest rates.

Ahead of the ECB's interest-rate decision next month, ECB President Christine Lagarde said earlier this week that inflation in Europe hasn't reached its peak yet and it risks turning out even higher than currently expected.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.63%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 surged 0.81%, Germany's DAX gained 0.29% and France's CAC 40 advanced 1.04%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 0.45% up.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden closed higher.

Greece, Iceland, Ireland and Poland edged up marginally. Czech Republic and Russia closed weak, while Spain ended flat.

In the UK market, Anglo American Plc, Antofagasta, Endeavour Mining, Intertek Group, Glencore, Compass Group, Flutter Entertainment, Halma and Rolls-Royce Holdings gained 2 to 3.6%.

Shell, Next, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Harbour Energy, Fresnillo, Prudential, BAE Systems and Standard Chartered also ended notably higher.

British Land, Unite Group, Tesco, Segro, DCC, Schrodders, Smurfit Kappa Group and BT Group lost 1 to 2.6%.

In Paris, Hermes International gained about 5%. LVMH, Renault, Kering, L'Oreal, TotalEnergies, Michelin, Alstom, Dassault Systemes, Essilor and Veolia gained 1 to 4%.

Unibail Rodamco drifted down more than 2.5%. Sanofi, Publicis Groupe and AXA also ended notably lower.

In the German market, HelloFresh rallied nearly 3.5%. Daimler and Infineon Technologies also gained more than 3%. Puma, BMW, Deutsche Boerse, Zalando and SAP also posted strong gains.

Deutsche Wohnen ended 2.7% down. Siemens, Brenntag, Covestro, BASF, Bayer and Deutsche Bank ended 0.8 to 1.7% down.

Flash estimate from Eurostat showed eurozone inflation slowed to 10% in November from 10.6% in October. Inflation slowed for the first time since June 2021. Economists had forecast an annual rate of 10.4%, although prices registered a double-digit growth for the second month in a row.

Excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, core inflation held steady at 5% in November, as expected. On a monthly basis, the harmonized index of consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent in November.

Inflation slowed across major economies in the currency bloc, except France, where harmonized inflation held steady at 7.1%.

Germany's harmonized inflation slowed to 11.3% from 11.6%. Likewise, Italy's inflation eased slightly to 12.5% from 12.6%. In Spain, HICP inflation came in at 6.6%, down from 7.3% a month ago.

A report from Destatis said Germany's unemployment rate remained unchanged in October, coming in at a seasonally adjusted 3%. The number of unemployed totaled 1.33 million, which was down 1,700, or 0.1% from September.

The French economy grew at a slower pace in the third quarter, expanding 0.2% sequentially, as initially estimated, according to INSEE.

A leading indicator for Switzerland's economy dropped for the fifth month in a row in November, defying expectations for an improvement, to signal subdued economic activity in the coming months, results of a survey showed Wednesday.

The economic barometer dropped to 89.5 from 90.9 in October, the KOF Swiss Economic Institute said. Economists had expected reading to rise to 91.3.

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