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European stocks edge higher; U.K. Autumn Statement due - European stock markets traded marginally higher Wednesday, as investors digested the minutes from the last meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve as well as earnings from AI favorite Nvidia.

At 03:05 ET (08:05 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.3% higher, the CAC 40 in France traded up 0.2% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. rose 0.4%.

Fed minutes digested

Trading ranges are likely to be limited in Europe Wednesday, the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, as investors digested the minutes from the Fed meeting at the start of the month.

Stocks were sitting on strong gains over the past few sessions, as a slew of weak U.S. inflation and labor readings spurred bets that the Federal Reserve was done raising interest rates.

The minutes, released on Tuesday, reiterated the Fed’s stance to keep rates at restrictive levels for some time, but suggested it would take an inflation shock for policy makers to consider another hike.

U.K. tax cuts expected

Back in Europe, the eurozone’s flash consumer confidence index for November is due later in the session, and is expected to show another weak reading, but a lot of the focus may be on the U.K., with British finance minister Jeremy Hunt set to release the annual Autumn Statement.

The U.K. economy flatlined in the third quarter, and press reports have suggested Hunt will announce tax cuts intended to bolster the country’s weak growth outlook.

"We do want to bring down the tax burden but we will only do so responsibly," Hunt said, in an interview on the weekend. "The one thing we won't do is any kind of tax cut that fuels inflation."

Nvidia results in focus

In the corporate sector, a lot of the focus will be on the results from artificial intelligence chip leader Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), released after Tuesday’s close.

The U.S. tech giant easily beat third-quarter expectations, as did its forecasts for the final quarter, but the bullish expectations built into this stock are so immense its shares still retreated in trading after hours.

In Europe, Thyssenkrupp (ETR:TKAG) has unveiled a hefty impairment on its steel unit due to a "gloomy" outlook, highlighting the challenge in efforts to win Czech energy group EPH as a co-owner for the business.

Crude stagnates after hefty U.S. inventories build

Oil prices stagnated Wednesday after industry data pointed to a substantial build in U.S. inventories, but with the weekend’s OPEC+ meeting in focus.

By 03:05 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $77.87 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.1% to $82.56 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute estimated that U.S. stockpiles grew over 9 million barrels in the week to Nov. 17, substantially more than expectations for a build of 1.5 million barrels.

If confirmed by official data later in the session, this would be the fourth straight week of builds for U.S. inventories, indicating that oil supplies remained robust.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, meet on Nov. 26, and reports suggest that Saudi Arabia and Russia – two major producers in the group – were considering deeper supply cuts to support oil prices.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $2,006.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0919.

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