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European markets head for buoyant open ahead of U.S. inflation data

LONDON – European stocks are expected to open in positive territory on Wednesday as investors await key US inflation data due to be released Thursday.

The UK’s FTSE index is seen opening 58 points higher at 7,615, Germany’s DAX 102 points higher at 15,338, France’s CAC 40 up 48 points at 7,071 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 180 points higher at 26,586, according to data from IG.

Global investors are awaiting inflation data out Thursday, with the US 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 US stock futures rose slightly in overnight trading as investors prepare for another round of corporate earnings.

It’s a busy day for earnings in Europe with L’Oreal, Deutsche Boerse, Siemens Energy, ABN Amro, Adyen, AkzoNobel, Barrett Developments and GSK all set to report. Data releases include German trade data for December.

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