© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 30, 2022. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – European shares scaled over three-month highs on Thursday, cheered by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signalling smaller interest rate hikes ahead, and China softening its tone on strict COVID-19 rules.

The pan-European index rose 0.9% by 0810 GMT, after rising 6.8% in November, its best month since July.

Technology and industrial stocks were among the biggest boost in early trade.

Energy stocks fell capping gains for the broader index as oil prices dipped amid uncertainty ahead of Sunday’s OPEC+ meeting. [O/R]

Investors seemed to look past data that showed German retail sales fell more-than-expected in October as inflation had consumers holding back on non-essential purchases at the start of the fourth quarter.

Lender HSBC slipped 1.9%. On Wednesday it announced a possible sale of its New Zealand business and plans to close 114 branches in Britain, in the latest retrenchment by the bank as it strives to improve returns amid criticism from a top investor.

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