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European Markets Close Higher as Traders Monitor Inflation and Earnings; Soitec Falls 18%

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  • Global markets have been focused on rising U.S. bond yields and earnings this week.
  • Investors are nervous over the U.S. Federal Reserve's trajectory for hiking interest rates.

LONDON — European stocks closed higher Thursday as investors appeared to brush off concerns about rampant inflation.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the day up 0.4% provisionally, wrapping up a choppy session. Travel and leisure shares led the gains, climbing 2.7%, while autos sank 0.9%.

Earnings was among the key drivers of individual share price movement Tuesday. Shares of Swiss online pharmacy Zur Rose Group rose 5.4% after a strong earnings report. And British food delivery firm Deliveroo climbed 1.4% after reporting a 70% jump in the total value of orders in 2021.

French industrial company Soitec plunged 18.2% to the bottom of the index after announcing that senior Atos executive Pierre Barnabe will succeed outgoing CEO Paul Boudre.

Dutch tech investment firm Prosus, meanwhile, climbed 6.5% after Goldman Sachs resumed coverage of the stock with a "buy" rating.

Inflation in focus

Global markets have been focused on rising U.S. bond yields and earnings this week. Inflation data is also center-stage; on Wednesday, data released by the U.K. showed the inflation rate soared to a 30-year high in December hitting 5.4% with higher energy costs, resurgent demand and supply chain issues continuing to drive up consumer prices.

Inflation concerns have dominated markets around the world in recent months and investors are nervous over the U.S. Federal Reserve's trajectory for hiking interest rates and tightening its ultra-loose pandemic-era monetary policy.

U.S. markets encountered another choppy trading session on Wednesday as investors remained cautious amid rising rates, with the Nasdaq dipping into correction territory.

This year's turbulence in tech stocks, set off by a spike in yields in the first week of January, continued Wednesday as the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hit a high of 1.9%. It started the year at about 1.5%. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell 2 basis points to 2.167%. Yields move inversely to prices.

U.S. equities rose on Thursday, while markets in Asia-Pacific were mixed after China cut its key lending rates

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— CNBC's Ryan Browne and Tanaya Macheel contributed to this market report.

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