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European markets buoyant ahead of U.S. inflation data; Stoxx 600 up 1%

LONDON — European stocks advanced on Wednesday morning, tracking global gains as investors await key U.S. inflation data due to be released Thursday.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 1% in early trade, with tech stocks climbing 1.9% to lead gains as most sectors and major bourses entered positive territory.

Global investors are awaiting inflation data out Thursday, with the U.S. Labor Department set to release January’s consumer price index figures.

The inflation data is expected to show that prices rose 0.4% in January, for a 7.2% gain from one year ago, which would be the highest in almost 40 years. The reading follows a stronger-than-expected January jobs report, which has led to speculation that the Federal Reserve could be more aggressive when it comes to hiking rates.

Bank of America said Monday that the Fed could implement seven quarter-percentage-point rate hikes this year.

Overnight, shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Wednesday trade, with stocks in Hong Kong leading gains regionally while U.S. stock futures rose slightly in overnight trading as investors prepare for another round of corporate earnings.

It was a busy day for earnings in Europe with L’Oreal, Deutsche Boerse, Siemens Energy, ABN Amro, Adyen, AkzoNobel, Barrett Developments and GSK all reporting.

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