European Markets Higher After Key U.S. Inflation Data

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This is CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European markets were higher Wednesday as investors digested key inflation data from the U.S.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.3% in early afternoon trade, trimming earlier gains.

U.S. inflation rose 0.1% in March, which was less than expected. The consumer price index was expected to rise 0.2% in March, according to Dow Jones.

Sectors were mixed, with autos, utilities and media stocks all up around 0.9%, while travel stocks fell 1.3%.

Investors are also digesting the International Monetary Fund's latest global growth report, released Tuesday, which included its weakest medium-term growth forecast for more than 30 years.

"We are concerned about what we have seen in the banking sector, particularly in the U.S. but maybe also in other countries, might do to growth in 2023," Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche in Washington, D.C.

European markets closed 0.6% higher Monday after gaining momentum following the long Easter weekend.

U.S. stocks climbed on the inflation reading.

Euro climbs against dollar following CPI print

The euro was up 0.76% against the U.S. dollar, trading at $1.0993 at 3:30 p.m. London time.

Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said it was partly a response to fresh U.S. inflation data, which was lower than expected at 0.1% monthly and 5% annually.

"The USD is falling after the inflation data as investors reprice expectations for a Fed rate hike in the May meeting and weigh up the likelihood of aggressive rate cuts by the end of the year," she said in a note.

Euro gains are also a response to hawkish comments from several European Central Bank officials, she added, with Governing Council member Francois Villeroy warning against inflation becoming entrenched.

The British pound was 0.4% higher against the greenback at $1.247.

— Jenni Reid

U.S. stocks open higher after CPI

U.S. stocks rose at Wednesday's open, as traders digested the latest U.S. consumer price index data.

The Dow gained more than 100 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 0.5% and 0.8%, respectively.

— Fred Imbert

Futures push higher after cool CPI report

Stock futures jumped after the March CPI report came in cooler than expected. Dow futures are now up more than 200 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures are up about 1%.

— Jesse Pound

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Ben Gutteridge, director of model portfolio services at Invesco, discusses the outlook for bank stocks ahead of earnings season and balancing bond and equity investments in the current market.

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Nicholas Lyons, lord mayor of the city of London, discusses how he plans on encouraging city investments post-Brexit.

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Samuel Bendahan, vice-president for the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland, discusses the Swiss Parliament's rejection of the government's rescue plan for Credit Suisse, and the impact of the deal on the Swiss taxpayer.

Stocks on the move: Volvo up 8%, Merck down 6%

Shares of Volvo were up 7.8% after first-quarter results exceeded expectations. Operating profit was adjusted to 18.4 billion Swedish krona ($1.77 billion), well above the Swedish carmaker's 12.9 billion krona forecast by analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

The automaker reported sales were up 10% year on year for the three-month period, while sales in March were up 8% from the previous year.

German pharmaceutical company Merck fell to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 index at the start of trading with a 5.5% share price dip.

The drugmaker announced Thursday that U.S. authorities have paused onboarding new patients in one of its drug trials after two patients appeared to have suffered drug-induced liver injury. Merck highlighted both patients were asymptomatic and did not require medical intervention.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European stock markets are expected to open mixed Wednesday.

Britain's FTSE 100 is seen around 2 points lower at 7.780.2, Germany's DAX is set to jump by 7.5 points to 15,661.4 and France's CAC 40 is expected to drop 0.4 points to 7,394.8.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Oil prices inch higher as investors look towards Fed rate hike decision

Oil prices rose during Asia's morning trade as the upcoming U.S. inflation data remains under spotlight as it would inform the Fed's next move on rate hikes.

Brent crude futures traded up 0.11% at $81.62 a barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures climbed 0.15% to $85.74 a barrel.

– Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: These 7 global stocks are bucking the bearish trend, with analysts hiking price targets

Investors are bracing for a potentially rocky ride as the corporate earnings season kicks off this week.

Analyst estimates point toward a 6.8% decline in first-quarter earnings compared with the same period last year – which would be the biggest fall since the second quarter of 2020.

Despite this gloomy outlook, there are a handful of stocks that appear to be bucking the bearish trend. CNBC Pro found the following seven stocks that appear to be going against the grain.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Fed's Kashkari sees U.S. inflation to be closer to 2% next year

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said he believes inflation in the U.S. economy will near the central bank's target of 2% in 2024.

Speaking at a town hall in Montana State University, he added that he's "less optimistic" than the bond market, which are pricing in a recession soon to come in the U.S., and that markets were also seeing a faster decline in inflation than his expectations.

He also highlighted he expects inflation to come down to "the mid threes" by the end of 2023.

The U.S. consumer price index rose 6% year-on-year in February, in line with expectations. The March inflation report is slated for release overnight.

— Jihye Lee

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