Investing.com - European stock markets traded higher Thursday, as investors digested the latest U.S. inflation figures ahead of the latest Bank of England policy-setting meeting.
Sentiment has been boosted Thursday by the news that U.S. consumer prices rose at a slower-than-expected pace in April, raising hopes that the Federal Reserve's interest rate hiking cycle is close to an end.
Back in Europe, the earnings season continued at full pelt.
Telefonica (BME: TEF ) stock, by contrast, fell 2.1% after the Spanish telecoms firm said its first-quarter net profit fell 58% from the same period a year earlier on higher debt costs.
ING (AS: INGA ) stock rose 3.7% after the Dutch bank announced plans to buy back €1.5 billion (€1 = $1.0922) worth of shares after higher interest rates helped lift first-quarter profit.
Bayer (ETR: BAYGN ) stock slumped 6.8% after the German drugs giant said its 2023 results would likely come in at the lower bound of its target range, hurt by cost inflation.
Thyssenkrupp (ETR: TKAG ) stock fell 3.2% after the German conglomerate posted a hefty second-quarter net loss after a rise in interest rates and cost of capital led to impairment losses at its European steel division.
The Bank of England holds its latest policy-setting meeting later in the session, with its policymakers expected to authorize a 12th consecutive rate hike as U.K. inflation remains in double figures, the highest of any major economy.
Oil prices rose Thursday, bouncing after recent losses after stronger-than-expected fuel demand data from the United States, the world's top oil consumer.
Official U.S. data from the Energy Information Administration showed that crude inventories rose by almost 3 million barrels last week.
However, gasoline stocks fell by 3.2 million barrels, much more than the 1.2 million expected, while U.S. jet fuel demand rose to its highest level since December 2019, suggesting demand for transport fuels remains resilient in the U.S.
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