Here is a round-up of the financial news from around the world:

1. European stock markets opened higher on Wednesday, following buoyant trading in Asia, as investors continued to digest hawkish remarks made by Fed chair Janet Yellen before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

2. Ashtead (ASHTF)  saw its shares rise by 1.26% early on Wednesday. The London-listed construction equipment rental firm has a large portion of its operations in the U.S. and so has been a beneficiary of a resurgent U.S. dollar.

3. In France, Credit Agricole (CRARY)  rose by more than 3%, to the top of the CAC 40 index after it beat the consensus for earnings by 14% in the fourth quarter. The French banking firm reported a solid performance across all divisions, stable capital buffers and announced a dividend that was in line with market expectations.

 4. In Frankfurt, Commerzbank ( CRZBY)  and Deutsche Bank ( DB - Get Report)  both featured near to the top of the DAX amid a broad rally for European bank stocks.