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European Shares Seen Opening Higher On Powell Comments

stockmarkets aug17 08feb23 lt

European stocks are poised to open higher on Wednesday as investors digest comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

In a question-and-answer session with the Economic Club of Washington, Powell on Tuesday said he expects 2023 to be a year of "significant declines in inflation" but additional rate increases may be required if the economic data doesn't cooperate.

Several prominent economists are now hopeful that the Fed might pull off a soft landing despite more rate hikes.

Asian markets traded mostly higher while oil and gold prices were little changed amid subdued movements in the dollar.

U.S. stocks ended Tuesday's session on a buoyant note after Powell sounded less hawkish on interest rates than markets had expected.

The Dow rose 0.8 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.9 percent.

European stocks closed mostly lower on Tuesday after the release of weak German industrial production and U.K. retail sales data. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.2 percent.

The German DAX slipped 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 index finished marginally lower while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent as BP Plc reported record annual profits.

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