European Stocks Rise on Positive Powell Insights and Strong Trade Results

European stocks rallied on Wednesday, supported by positive signals included in statements by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell last night, as well as strong trading results for energy and chemical companies.

The pan-European STOXX 600 has closed in up 0.3%, after pulling back from a 9-month high hit earlier in the session, while other US central bank policymakers looked more hawkish.

Powell’s comments on Tuesday, in which he again referred to as a “lower inflation” trade, were interpreted as less hawkish than markets had feared, still reeling from the shock of Friday’s surprisingly strong US jobs data, according to Reuters.

The energy sector, which grew by 1.7%, was the biggest upside in Europe, boosted by a 10.6% increase at Finnish refiner Neste and a 6.8% increase at Norwegian oil and gas producer Equinor after announcing fourth-quarter earnings.

The positive commercial results led to an increase of 1.2% for the chemical shares.

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