Investing.com - European stocks opened sharply higher on Wednesday, as sentiment strengthened ahead of the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated policy statement due later in the day.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rallied 1.36%, France's CAC 40 jumped 1.15%, while Germany's DAX 30 climbed 0.81%.
Markets have pushed back expectations on the timing of the next rate hike by the U.S. central bank after a dismal U.S. employment report for May, which showed the slowest rate of jobs growth since September 2010.
Investors remained cautious however ahead of the June 23 on a potential British exit from the European Union (or Brexit).
A poll conducted by YouGov for The Times newspaper published late Monday showed that the Leave campaign held 46% support compared with 39% support for the Remain camp. Undecided voters totaled 11%.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) surged 2.28% and 2.54%, while Germany's Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) advanced 0.91% and 2.85%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) soared 2.61% and 3.80% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) rallied 1.81% and 1.85%.
Elsewhere, Bay.Motoren Werke AG ST (DE:BMWG) shares were up 1.29% despite news the carmaker was set to recall 622,000 SUVs worldwide due to a childseat anchor defect.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.89%, boosted by gains in the mining sector.
Shares in BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) climbed 2.09% and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) jumped 2.16%, while Glencore (LON:GLEN) and Anglo American (LON:AAL) surged 3.41% and 3.55% respectively.
Financial stocks were also on the upside, as HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) gained 0.85% and Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) jumped 1.37%, while Barclays (LON:BARC) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) rallied 1.77% and 1.79% respectively.
On the downside, Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW) saw shares tumble 1.16% after acquiring the Ebury Centre in Pimlico, London, from Bouygues (PA:BOUY) Development.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.23% rise, S&P 500 futures a 0.18% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.20% advance.
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