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European markets close slightly higher; H&M up 15% after profit beat; Sweden holds rates

This was CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday, regaining steam after a subdued start to the session.

The regional Stoxx 600 index closed up 0.1%, with retail stocks up 2.7% as travel stocks fell 2.4%.

Swedish retailer H&M led Stoxx gains, up 15% after significantly beating analyst consensus expectations for its fiscal first quarter operating profit.

Investors also assessed Spanish inflation data, which came in at 3.2% for March, and French consumer confidence figures, which showed a cautious uptick in sentiment.

Economic sentiment in the European Union was also slightly higher, according to the group's statistics agency, with employment expectations holding steady.

Elsewhere, U.S. stocks were up modestly following a losing session on Wall Street that pulled the indexes further from record levels.

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed Wednesday as investors assessed economic data from China and Australia.

Shares of digital marketing agency S4 Capital slipped 15% before paring losses slightly after warning of a further fall in revenues this year amid a still challenging advertising market.

S4 Capital reported a 25% drop in core earnings in 2023 as tech clients cut ad spend. Shares of the company were trading down around 8% lower at 4:15 p.m. London time.

"Clients are cautious," founder and executive chairman Martin Sorrell told CNBC Wednesday, citing geopolitical and economic uncertainty.

— Karen Gilchrist

The S&P 500 opened higher on Tuesday as it looked to snap a three-day losing streak.

The broader market index rose 0.6%, as did the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 216 points, or 0.6%.

— Lisa Kailai Han

Current economic soft landings are