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European markets close higher after euro zone inflation data surprises

This is CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European markets closed higher Wednesday, shaking off some of the negative sentiment seen at the start of the new quarter after euro zone inflation fell more than expected.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.33% higher, with most sectors in positive territory. Banks added 1.4% while food and beverage stocks dropped 0.9%.

Wednesday was light on the corporate earnings front, as investors digested fresh inflation data out of the euro zone. Prices in the 20-nation euro zone eased to 2.4% in March, according to flash figures, lower than the 2.6% forecast in a Reuters poll.

Markets finished lower in Asia-Pacific, tracking declines on Wall Street overnight, with shares of electric vehicle makers dropping on demand worries. U.S. stocks traded higher on Wednesday.

European bourses ended Wednesday in the green, with Germany's DAX up 0.5% and France's CAC 40 up 0.3%.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was flat, while the regional benchmark Stoxx 600 index nudged 0.3% higher.

— Jenni Reid

German chemicals firm Wacker Chemie topped Stoxx 600 gains during afternoon trade, up 7.4% after analysts at UBS raised their target price on the stock to 137 euros ($148.23) from 130 euros.

U.K. telecoms group BT meanwhile fell 4.7% on an analyst price cut from UBS, to 100p ($1.26) from 110p.

— Jenni Reid

The S&P 500 kicked off Wednesday lower, putting the broad index on track for a third straight losing day.

The broad index lost 0.1% shortly after 9:30 a.m. ET, while the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 0.4%. The Dow slipped around 0.1%.

— Alex Harring

A technical committee of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, collectively known as OPEC+, concluded its Wednesday meeting without