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European stocks inch higher as investors track earnings, await U.S. inflation data

LONDON — European stocks advanced on Thursday morning after a deluge of corporate earnings, while global investors await the latest reading of U.S. inflation.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.3% in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks adding 1.2% to lead gains while household goods slipped 0.5%.

Earnings came from Credit Suisse, Unilever, Siemens, Zurich Insurance, AstraZeneca and Soci?t? G?n?rale before the bell on Thursday.

Global investors are awaiting inflation data out Thursday, with the U.S. Labor Department set to release January’s consumer price index figures.

The inflation print is expected to show that prices rose 0.4% in January, for a 7.2% gain from one year ago, which would be the highest in almost 40 years. The reading follows a stronger-than-expected January jobs report, which has led to speculation that the Federal Reserve could be more aggressive when it comes to hiking rates.

U.S. stock futures were slightly higher on Thursday morning ahead of key inflation data while shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed.

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