European stocks closed higher, supported by corporate earnings and focus on Powell’s remarks

© Reuters. An electronic board displaying the German DAX index at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Germany, on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters.

(Reuters) – European stocks posted slight gains on Tuesday, supported by strong earnings announcements from some companies, but investors are increasingly concerned that interest rates will remain at high levels for a longer period as they await a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The index of European shares closed up 0.2 percent.

The energy sector index was the biggest gainer, as it rose 3 percent, supported by an eight percent jump in BP shares, after the major oil company announced record profits in 2022 and increased dividends.

The banking sector index rose 1.2 percent, with BNP Paribas rising 2.6 percent after raising its targets until 2025 and reporting strong revenue growth.

Losses in industrial and basic consumer goods stocks limited the rise of the Stoxx 600 index.

Fed Chairman Powell’s comments, due at 1740 GMT, follow strong US job growth last week that prompted policymakers to stress the need to keep interest rates higher for a longer period.

(Prepared by Mahmoud Abdel-Gawad for the Arabic Bulletin)

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