European stocks look set to open on a positive note

European stocks look set to open on a positive note Wednesday amid encouraging U.S. data and upbeat comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

European stocks look set to open on a positive note Wednesday as encouraging U.S. data and upbeat comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell helped bolster investor confidence in the world’s largest economy.

Underlying sentiment may also remain supported after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday narrowly avoided a defeat in parliament over future trade links with the European Union.

Tech stocks could be in focus as Google faces its biggest ever regulatory fine over its Android operating system for mobile phones.

The dollar rose across the board as Powell offered an upbeat outlook on the economy while reiterating the central bank’s path of gradual monetary tightening is “the best way forward.” He also downplayed potential negative fallout from the ongoing U.S.-China trade spat.

Asian markets traded broadly higher on improved risk appetite as the yen weakened and oil prices recovered some ground overnight after recent selloff on concerns that a global trade war could dampen demand.

Meanwhile, in a clear message against protectionism, the EU and Japan on Tuesday signed a sweeping free trade deal, eliminating nearly all tariffs on products they trade.

The pound remained weaker, a day after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said a no-deal with the EU would have big economic consequences, prompting a review of interest rates.

In economic releases, inflation data from the U.K. and Eurozone are due later in the day.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose as Powell’s upbeat comments as well as encouraging industrial output and housing data helped boost investor confidence in the economy.

The Dow inched up 0.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6 percent to set a fresh record closing high and the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent to reach its best closing level in well over five months.

European markets also rose on Tuesday following encouraging comments from Fed Chair Powell about the U.S. economy.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.2 percent. The German DAX climbed 0.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 index inched up 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent.

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