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Economic Data Boost Stocks as Inflation Fears Remain

Stocks in Europe were hovering around record levels on Wednesday, as they were uplifted by energy and consumer stocks. Investor sentiment was boosted by positive economic data from the U.S. and Europe.

The substantial growth in the US and European factory activity in May elevated global shares to new high levels on Tuesday. The release of US employment data on Friday, could provide further proof of a strong recovery in one of the world’s leading economies and indications of inflation risks.

In May, rising inflation due to rapid economic recovery caused increased volatility in the markets. The U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank officers see the increase in prices as transitory, easing investors’ fears. Comments from Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, saying that the U.S. central bank should start discussing a timeframe to reduce its bond-buying program did not stir up further concerns in investors.

In Asian markets, Japanese equities were lifted by optimism sparked by the vaccine rollout. Plans by US President Joe Biden to amend a U.S. ban on investing in companies associated with the Chinese military did not seem to have a negative effect on Chinese shares which edged up.

In other markets, oil added to its gains as it was boosted by OPEC and its allies’ forecast of a surge in demand, while Bitcoin traded around $38,000.

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