- The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 1.7%, with autos surging 4% to lead the gains as all sectors and major bourses ended in positive territory.
- Earnings were a key driver of individual share price action in Europe, with Rockwool International and Adyen surging on the back of strong results.
- Global investors are awaiting inflation data out Thursday, with the U.S. Labor Department set to release January's consumer price index figures.
LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Wednesday, as investors pored through a fresh batch of corporate earnings while awaiting key U.S. inflation data later in the week.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up by 1.7%, with autos surging 4% to lead the gains as all sectors and major bourses ended in positive territory.
Earnings were a key driver of individual share price action in Europe on Wednesday. Danish mineral wool manufacturer Rockwool International soared nearly 20% to lead the Stoxx 600 after its fourth-quarter report, while Dutch payment company Adyen jumped 11.5% after strong second-half results.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Dutch bank ABN Amro fell 9% after its share buyback program underwhelmed traders.
It was a busy day for earnings, with L'Oreal, Deutsche Boerse, Siemens Energy, AkzoNobel, Barratt Developments and GSK also reporting.
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.
Shares in Asia-Pacific closed higherovernight, with stocks in Hong Kong leading gains regionally.
On Wall Street, U.S. stocks rose Wednesday as investors monitored another round of corporate earnings.
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- CNBC's Ryan Browne contributed to this report