Europe open: Shares lower as investors digest day 2 of Powell
European markets opened lower on Thursday as investors digested more Congress testimony from US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
The pan-European Stoxx index was down 0.4% at 0834 GMT with all major bourses lower. Powell on Wednesday repeated his earlier message that interest rates would have to rise in potentially higher increments to quell inflation, but said this would depend on available data.
Offsetting the cautious outlook was data showing Chinese consumer price inflation eased more than expected in February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
CPI rose 1% on the year following a 2.1% increase in January, and versus expectations of 1.9%. It marked the slowest rate since February 2022.
The NBS put the slowdown down to cooling demand after the Lunar New Year holiday and ample food supply conditions thanks to warm weather.
In equity news, shares in UK insurer Aviva rose as it announced a £300m share buyback and 35% surge in operating profit.
Dassault Aviation shares took off after the defence manufacturer reported higher net profit and dividends.
Embattled Swiss bank Credit Suisse fell after it was forced to delay annual results due to a last minute call from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com