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European markets higher on U.K. economic data

written by Bella Palmer

Mining stocks led the gains, up more than 2%, while tech stocks added 1.5%

European markets were higher on Friday morning as investors parse through U.K. economic data and reflect on a somewhat murky U.S. inflation outlook.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was more than 1% higher at 9:10 a.m. in London, with all sectors and major indexes in positive territory.

Mining stocks led the gains, up more than 2%, while tech stocks added 1.5%.

The market moves come after the benchmark Stoxx 600 index closed lower in the earlier session.

On the data front, Britain’s economic output rose by 0.1% in monthly terms in February, in line with expectations, as per data published Friday by the ONS. It provided another sign of a return to sluggish economic growth this year.

The ECB on Thursday held interest rates steady for a fifth successive meeting and gave its clearest signal yet of an upcoming rate cut despite uncertainty over the U.S. Fed’s next moves.

In the U.S., investors digested fresh inflation data in search of hints on exactly when the U.S. central bank may start trimming interest rates.

The producer price index (PPI), which tracks prices on a wholesale level, came in lower than expected in March, as per a release Thursday from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The PPI reading increased 0.2% for the month, less than the 0.3% estimate from the Dow Jones consensus and not as much as the 0.6% rise in February.

It provided some potential relief for investors hoping for the start of Federal Reserve policy easing, although the data came just one day after a hotter-than-expected March consumer inflation report, which fuelled concerns that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher.


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