European Stocks Higher; Central Bank Meetings Seen as Key

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European Stocks Higher; Central Bank Meetings Seen as Key

At 3:45 AM ET (0845 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.4% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.6% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.6%. 

Investors are firmly focusing on policy-setting meetings from a number of high profile central banks, including the Bank of England and the European Central Bank in Europe, but probably more importantly the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Fed starts its two-day meeting later Tuesday, and is widely expected to discuss a faster taper of its massive bond-buying program, which could move it one step closer to raising interest rates. 

This follows consumer prices climbing 6.8% in annual terms in November, the largest rise since 1982.

On Tuesday, U.K. unemployment fell almost 50,000 in November and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% in October, good news ahead of Thursday’s Bank of England meeting. Growth in employment over the last quarter slowed below expectations, however.

In corporate news, Ocado (LON:OCDO) stock rose 3.7% after the online grocer stated that fourth-quarter trends reflect strong momentum in underlying demand, with its best-ever Christmas ahead. Things could have been even better for the company as customers stick with online shopping, with growth held back by labor shortages. The group also said it won a patent infringement lawsuit filed by the Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore last year.

ArcelorMittal (AS:MT) stock climbed 4.2% after the world’s largest steelmaker said it had intended to repurchase some convertible notes as part of a $395 million buyback program.

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