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European stocks close higher as U.S. inflation eases; UK pound hits one-year high

Vuk Valcic | Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

LONDON — European stocks closed higher Thursday, remaining in the green after the U.S. posted its lowest CPI reading in more than three years.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index provisionally closed 0.65% higher. Utilities led the pack, up 1.78%, while media stocks dipped 0.36%. After making gains earlier in the day, tech slipped and closed slightly lower.

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The U.S. consumer price index declined to a 12-month rate of 3%, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That was down from 3.3% in May.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core CPI increased 0.1 % monthly and 3.3% from a year ago, both one percentage point below forecast.

Investors were keenly awaiting the print for a sign the Federal Reserve may be prepared to lower interest rates in its coming meetings.

The S&P 500 retreated from a record high as investors rotated out of big technology companies and into small-caps and housing related stocks.

Back in Europe, flash figures showed the U.K. economy grew by 0.4% in May, rebounding from no growth in April and coming in ahead of a 0.2% forecast.

Following both data releases, the British pound rose 0.7% to its highest level against the U.S. dollar since July 2023.

Goldman Sachs last week upgraded its growth forecast for the U.K. after the Labour Party's decisive victory in the country's general election.

Overnight, Japan's Nikkei 225 crossed the 42,000 mark for the first time amid a broader rise in Asia-Pacific markets after U.S. Big Tech rallied overnight on optimism over Fed rate cuts.

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