BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks rose sharply on hectic bargain hunting on Friday even as investors continued to weigh the possible impact of soaring inflation and rising interest rates on global economic growth.
Fed Chairman Powell's comments that the central bank is likely to raise rates by 50 basis points in its next two meetings and isn't 'actively considering' a 75 bps move, helped lift sentiment.
However, Powell cautioned Thursday that getting inflation under control won't be easy and that he could not gurantee a so-called 'soft landing' for the world's largest economy.
A strong rally on Wall Street contributed as well to the highly positive sentiment in the European markets.
The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 2.14%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 2.55%, Germany's DAX surged up 2.1% and France's CAC 40 spurted 2.52%, while Switzerland's SMI advanced 1.25%.
Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Turkey ended sharply higher.
Belgium, Portugal and Russia posted moderate gains, while Denmark ended weak.
In the UK market, Scottish Mortgage climbed nearly 7.5%. Flutter Entertainment, Compass Group, ICP, Prudential, Entain, Ocado Group, Coca-Cola HBC and Smith & Nephew gained 4.5 to 6%.
ABRDN, Phoenix Group Holdings, Legal & General, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Sage Group, Royal Mail, HSBC Holdings, JD Sports Fashion, BP, Astrazeneca, Smith (DS), Diageo and Rolls Royce Holdings also rallied sharply.
Investment company Bridgepoint Group soared nearly 8% following its annual general meeting.
In the French market, STMicroElectronics gained about 6%. Renault rallied 5.3% after the carmaker said it was studying the option of creating two separate entities, one specializing in the development and research of electric vehicles (EVs).
Veolia, Sodexo, Hermes International, Accor, Air Liquide, Essilor, Engie, Pernod Ricard, Safran, Faurecia, Publicis Groupe, Sanofi, Vinci and Michelin gained 2.5 to 4%.
In Germany, HelloFresh soared more than 9%. Zalando, Infineon Technologies, Linde, Siemens Healthineers, BMW, Fresenius, RWE, Sartorius, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Bank and MTU Aero Engines moved up 2 to 4%. Volkswagen declined 1.6%.
Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB slumped nearly 14% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration didn't approve a key psoriasis drug.
In European economic releases, Eurozone industrial production declined at a slower-than-expected pace in March, data from Eurostat showed.
Industrial output fell 1.8% month-on-month in March, reversing a 0.5% increase in February, which was revised down from a 0.7% rise estimated initially. Economists had forecast a 2% decline.
On a yearly basis, industrial production dropped 0.8% in March, in contrast to the 1.7% rebound in the previous month.
Production in the capital goods sector declined 2.7% on month in March and that of non-durable consumer goods fell 2.3%. Intermediate goods sector registered a 2% decline in output, while production in the durable consumer goods segment showed an increase of 0.8%.
Industrial production in the EU27 contracted 1.2% monthly, while it grew 0.7% from a year ago in March.
Final data from the statistical office INSEE showed France consumer price inflation accelerated to a record high in April, as initially estimated.
The consumer price index rose 4.8% annually in April, as estimated, following March's 4.5% increase.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices rose 0.4% after the 1.4% increase in March. Year-on-year, core inflation climbed to 3.2% from 2.5% in March.
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