earnings, upcoming US inflation data at a glance

LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Wednesday as investors eyed another round of corporate earnings ahead of key US inflation data later in the week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 tentatively closed 1.7% higher as autos jumped 4% to lead the gains as all sectors and major exchanges finished in positive territory.

Earnings were a major driver of individual stock price action in Europe on Wednesday. Danish mineral wool maker Rockwool International soared nearly 20% to top the Stoxx 600 after its fourth quarter report, while Dutch payments company Adyen jumped 11.5% after strong second quarter results. semester.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Dutch bank ABN Amro fell 9% after its share buyback program disappointed traders.

It was a busy day for earnings, with L’Oreal, Deutsche Boerse, Siemens Energy, AkzoNobel, Barratt Developments and GSK.

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Global investors await inflation data on Thursday, with the US Department of Labor set to release January consumer price index figures.

Inflation data is expected to show prices rose 0.4% in January, for a gain of 7.2% from a year ago, which would be the highest in nearly 40 years. The reading follows a stronger-than-expected January jobs report, which led to speculation that the Federal Reserve could be more aggressive in raising rates.

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

Shares in Asia-Pacific closed higher overnight, with Hong Kong stocks leading the gains regionally.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks rose Wednesday as investors watched another round of corporate earnings.

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– CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report