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European stocks mostly higher before Yellen speech; Dax up 0.37%

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - European stocks were mostly higher on Wednesday, as markets turned their attention to an upcoming speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen due later in the day.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.31%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.32%, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.37%.

Investors were eyeing Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, scheduled later in the day, for indications on future interest rate hikes.

Markets were still jittery amid sustained global growth concerns and as oil prices dropped back below $28 a barrel.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) jumped 1.03% and 2.19%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) surged 2.17% and 2.88%.

The Financial Times reported late Tuesday that Deutsche Bank was considering buying back several billion euros of its debt in an attempt to shore up the dropping value of its securities.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) rallied 1.08% and 1.81% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MC:SAN) and BBVA (MC:BBVA) gained 1.42% and 1.68%.

Elsewhere, Carlsberg (CO:CARLa) soared 4.42% after the Danish brewer reported a pre-tax loss of $261.8 million in 2015, and said it expects "to deliver low-single-digit organic operating profit growth and a further reduction in financial leverage" in 2016.

On the downside, Akzo Nobel (AS:AKZO) plummeted 4.01% even after the Dutch paints and chemicals maker said its full-year operating income climbed 59%.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 slipped 0.25%, weighed by losses in the mining sector.

Rio Tinto (L:RIO) and Fresnillo (L:FRES) fell 0.25% and 0.30% respectively, while Bhp Billiton (L:BLT) lost 1.74% and Glencore (L:GLEN) plunged 3.11%.

Adding to losses, ARM Holdings (L:ARM) dove 5.16% even after reporting a 17 percent increase in fourth-quarter pre-tax profit.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were mixed. The Royal Bank of Scotland (L:RBS) slipped 0.18% and Lloyds Banking (L:LLOY) declined 0.32%, while HSBC Holdings (L:HSBA) added 0.21% and Barclays (L:BARC) gained 0.61%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a mixed open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.01% dip, S&P 500 futures a 0.04% uptick, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.19% rise.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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