European stocks higher early Wednesday

Stock markets in Europe went higher this Wednesday as investors focus on corporate earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.76 percent higher with most sectors trading positive.

Auto stocks were outperforming its peers, up by more than 1.5 percent in early trade, boosted by strong earnings. Truckmaker Volvo reported stronger-than-expected quarterly core earnings while also raising its forecast for European sales in 2017. Its shares were at the top of the European benchmark, up by more than 6 percent.

Banking stocks were also up by about 1.4 percent. The Swiss private bank Julius Baer was among the best performers in early trade, up by more than 4 percent, after reporting a 12 percent increase in its assets under management for 2016.

Cellnex Telecom was also at the top of the European benchmark after news that it reached a deal with the French Bouygues Telecom for the construction of 3000 sites in France. The deal amounts to 854 million euros ($921 million).

In other corporate earning reports, the Swiss health care firm Roche announced a 5 percent rise in its core operating profit for last year. The German engineering giant Siemens moved higher in early trade as well after it lifted its profit guidance and earnings.

Talk Talk, Repsol and BBVA are also all reporting their latest figures Wednesday.

Volkswagen agreed to pay at least $1.26 billion in compensations in the U.S. and could pay more than $4 billion if regulators don’t approve fixes to cars, Reuters reported based on court documents.

In terms of data, the euro zone will receive the latest PMI manufacturing figures. According to Nationwide, U.K. house prices increased only slightly in January, adding that the outlook for the housing market remains uncertain.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank will not demand Italian lender UniCredit to book more writedowns on its bad loans than those already scheduled, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the dollar was subdued after President Donald Trump accused Germany and Japan of devaluating their currencies to gain a trade advantage.

Source: CNBC

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