- Economic confidence in Eurozone improves
- German investor sentiment falls
- European car sales gain
- UK inflation surprises to the downside
- US inflation rises past forecasts
FTSE 100: 0.18%
CAC 40: 0.58%
FTSE MIB: 0.09%
IBEX 35: 0.46%
Stoxx 600: 0.26%
European stocks jumped as reports showed Eurozone economic confidence rose and car sales in the euro-area gained.
European car sales edged up 4.3% in May, driven by purchases of new models from Renault and Volkswagen, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association today.
Another report from the ZEW Institute showed Eurozone economic sentiment climbed to 58.4 in June from 55.2 a month earlier.
German investor sentiment, on the other hand, dropped to 29.8 in June from 33.1 the prior month, missing forecasts for an increase to 35, ZEW data revealed.
UK inflation falls to five-year low
UK consumer prices dropped sharply in May with the rate of advance in prices slowing to a 1.5% year-on-year pace from 1.8% in the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It marked the lowest reading since May 2009 and missed the consensus estimate for a reading of 1.7%.
US inflation increases
US consumer prices rose by 0.4% month-on-month and 2.1% year-on-year in May, surpassing estimates for gains of 0.2% and 1.9% respectively.
Core prices, which exclude both energy and food, also rose more quickly than forecast, rising by 0.3% month-on-month and 2% year-on-year.
Paul Dales, Senior US economist at Capital Economics said: "With core CPI inflation rising to 2% in May, from 1.8% in April, the [Federal Reserve] will have to acknowledge in tomorrow's policy statement that price pressures are building. The chances that it will hike interest rates before the middle of next year are increasing."
The central bank will take its latest policy decision tomorrow and is expected to cut back its quantitative easing programme by a further $10bn per month and keep interest rates at 0.25%.
Meanwhile, a report revealed housing starts fell by 6.5% month-on-month in May to reach an annualised rate of 1.001m. The consensus estimate had been for a reading of 1.033m.
The US is deploying up to 275 military personal to Iraq to aid Baghdad in its battle against militant group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
The UK is also planning to re-open its embassy in Iran as reflection of "increasing confidence" in the international relations, marking an "important step forward" with the country, according to Foreign Secretary William Hague.
The news comes as ISIS has captured large swaths of territory around Baghdad.
Brent crude futures rose $0.677 to $113.720 per barrel in afternoon trading amid concerns that Iraq tensions will disrupt oil supplies.
Whitbread was a high riser after first half sales at its Premier Inn hotels and Costa Coffee chain topped analysts' estimates.
Rheinmetall rallied as the German automotive and defence-equipment supplier had its rating lifted to 'buy' from 'hold' by Berenberg Bank.
A.P. Moeller-Maersk dropped after China blocked the formation of a global alliance by the world's three biggest shipping lines.
Shire advanced after a report said it has hired Citigroup as it may receive takeover offers.
Subsea slumped after Berenberg cut the offshore oil services provider to 'hold' from 'buy'.
The euro fell 0.21% to $1.3545.