European stocks jump on easing inflation; UK’s FTSE outperforms

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(Reuters) -Europe’s benchmark STOXX 600 climbed to a more than one-month high on Wednesday, as investors cheered slowing inflation across major economies, bolstering bets of an end to central banks’ policy tightening.

The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.7% by 0920 GMT, while the UK’s FTSE 100 rose 1.0% to a near one-month high, outperforming its regional peers.

Interest rate-sensitive technology stocks jumped 1.7% to a more than three-month high, while miners gained 1.6% tracking higher metal prices.

Just a day after a benign U.S. inflation report supported views that the Federal Reserve may be done with raising rates, fresh data showed British inflation also cooled more than expected in October.

“The better inflation picture being painted by both UK and the U.S. suggest that we may start to see a fundamental shift in investment decisions, with the worst now potentially being over for both bonds and equities,” said Stuart Cole, head macro economist at Equiti Capital.

Meanwhile, German wholesale prices took their sharpest fall in almost three-and-a-half years in October, another sign of easing inflationary pressures in Europe’s largest economy.

Also boosting sentiment was data showing better-than-expected industrial output and retail sales growth for top metals consumer China in October and a report of fresh stimulus.

China-exposed luxury stocks including Kering (EPA:PRTP), LVMH and Richemont rose nearly 3% each, with the sector gaining 2.2% to a near two-month high.

Experian (OTC:EXPGF) jumped 5.5% after the world’s largest credit data company reported a higher half-yearly profit, while German chip manufacturer Infineon (OTC:IFNNY) gained 6.8% after higher-than-expected revenue for 2023.

Meanwhile, Alstom (EPA:ALSO) tanked 14.2% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after the train maker said it would cut jobs, sell assets, consider a capital increase and propose paying no dividend for the current fiscal year.

Swiss eye-care company Alcon (NYSE:ALC) dropped 5.7% after posting lower-than-expected third-quarter sales and narrowing its full-year outlook.

Of the STOXX 600 companies that have reported third-quarter earnings to date, 55.4% topped expectations, LSEG data showed on Tuesday.

Further on the data front, France’s third-quarter unemployment rate edged up faster than expected to 7.4%, which Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire blamed on slower economic growth.

Investors will now monitor inflation data out of the euro zone, due on Friday.