Latest news updates: Hays highlights ‘clear signs’ of wage inflation at higher salary levels

European stock markets trended higher as investors’ pessimism about inflation and potential interest rate rises was tempered by companies’ earnings reports that indicated consumer demand remained strong.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 share index rose 0.7 per cent in early trading on Thursday, staying about 3 per cent below its all-time high of early September. London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.7 per cent.

The moves came after Taiwanese chip supplier TSMC, whose products are used in everything from iPhones to cars, posted a better than expected 14 per cent rise in profits for the third quarter, compared with the same period last year.

US consumer prices rose 5.4 per cent year on year in September, marking the fifth consecutive month of annual increases of 5 per cent or more, data showed on Wednesday.

Minutes from the US central bank’s latest meeting showed its policymakers were ready, as early as next month, to start reducing its $120bn of monthly bond purchases that have eased financial conditions through the pandemic.

Investors had spent much of the past few weeks positioning themselves for such a signal, along with the latest burst of US inflation, however. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, was steady on Thursday morning at 1.549 per cent.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, slid 1.1 per cent to $82.5 a barrel after this week hitting its latest three-year high of $83.7.

The dollar index, which measures the currency against six others, fell 0.2 per cent after hitting its highest point in a year on Wednesday.

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