European Shares Rally Ahead Of Fed Decision

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European stocks rose sharply on Wednesday to extend gains from the previous session as investors hunted for battered stocks affected by the recent sell-off.

Sentiment was also underpinned after Microsoft forecast revenue for the current quarter broadly ahead of Wall Street targets.

Traders await a Federal Reserve decision later in the day to see how hawkish the Fed sounds in the fight against high inflation.

The Fed’s policy statement is due at 2 p.m. EST. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is due to begin a news conference half an hour after the release of the statement.

Markets have already priced in a 25 bps rate hike in March, and three more quarter-point increases by year-end.

The pan European Stoxx 600 jumped as much as 1.8 percent to 467.85 after rising 0.7 percent on Tuesday. The German DAX rallied 2.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rose a little over 2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 1.7 percent.

Travel stocks topped the gainers list, with Lufthansa, Air France KLM and IAG rallying 5-7 percent as Omicron worries ease.

Swiss drug contract manufacturer Lonza dropped 1.6 percent despite reporting a 20 percent rise in 2021 core earnings.

Hygiene and health company Essity tumbled 3.7 percent. The company announced price increases in all product categories and markets after posting a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly profit.

Italian fashion group Tod’s soared 11 percent after retail sales returned to growth in 2021 versus the pre-pandemic period.

Miners advanced in London, with Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore all climbing around 4 percent.

Gold and silver miner Fresnillo plunged almost 13 percent after a disappointing trading update.

Gambling software firm Playtech tumbled 3.4 percent after its board reiterated its recommendation that shareholders vote in favor of the offer from Aristocrat Leisure Limited.

CMC Markets jumped 3.7 percent. The global provider of online trading and institutional platform technology solutions said it sees third-quarter results consistent with its annual guidance.

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