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Liverpool Street train station beneath the new skyline of skyscrapers in the City of London financial district on 14th February 2022 in London, United Kingdom.

Mike Kemp | In Pictures | Getty Images

LONDON — European stocks closed higher Wednesday as investors turn their attention stateside after a week of political drama.

The Stoxx 600 index provisionally closed 0.93% higher, as almost all sectors ended in the green. Retail topped gains, up 1.6%, as chemicals stocks slipped 0.18%.

Norwegian tech group Kongsberg topped gains, up 11%, after reporting a 21% rise in operating revenue.

European stocks closed lower on Tuesday as investors in the region weighed up political uncertainty in France after Sunday’s election result in which the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) won the largest number of seats but failed to win an absolute majority. The NFP is demanding that President Emmanuel Macron allow it to form a government, and to pick one of its candidates as France’s next prime minister.

France’s CAC 40 index finished 0.86% higher as traders assessed the implications of a hung parliament and a period of political uncertainty in France.

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed Wednesday, even as key Wall Street benchmarks rose following dovish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Tuesday. Powell cautioned that keeping rates elevated for too long “could unduly weaken economic activity and employment.”

On Thursday, the monthly U.S. consumer price index will be released, followed by the producer price index on Friday. Both prints and whether they surprise to the upside or downside will be key gauges of the interest rate outlook.

The S&P 500 rose slightly on Wednesday.

Earnings come from Wetherspoons and the National Grid. There are no major data releases.

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