European stock futures are mixed, and the release of Eurozone inflation data looms large.
European stock markets are anticipated to open cautiously on Thursday, ahead of the release of the most recent Eurozone inflation statistics, which will provide clues about the region’s future interest rate path.
At 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany was 0.2% lower, the CAC 40 futures contract in France was 0.4% lower, and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the United Kingdom was 0.1% higher.
Investors in Europe and the United States are worried that borrowing costs will rise faster than anticipated, weighing on future growth, as inflation has proven difficult to control.
Markets have completely priced in a 50-basis-point increase by the European Central Bank in mid-March and another 50-basis-point hike in May.
This focuses attention later in the session on the preliminary Eurozone consumer price index for February, with consensus estimates pointing to an annual figure of 8.2%, down from 8.6% the previous month.
However, early data from Germany, France, and Spain all came in higher than anticipated, indicating that the Eurozone report could be revised upward.
The minutes of the ECB’s most recent policy conference will also be released, and President Christine Lagarde will be questioned on Spanish television later in the session.
Anheuser Busch Inbev SA NV (EBR:ABI), the world’s biggest brewer, reported a slightly higher-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter.
Merck KGaA (ETR:MRCG) forecasted a decrease in 2023 profits, citing a decline in COVID-related demand for its lab materials from medicine and vaccine manufacturers, as well as a decline in its electronic chemicals business.
Results from London Stock Exchange Group (LON:LSEG), Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW), and Metro Bank are also expected (LON:MTRO).
Oil prices stayed in a narrow trading range Thursday as traders evaluated the possibility of a rebound in Chinese fuel demand against growing crude stockpiles in the United States.
The Energy Information Administration reported late Wednesday that petroleum inventories in the United States increased by 1.2 million barrels last week to just over 480 million barrels, the highest amount since May 2021.
This was the eleventh straight week of petroleum storage builds in the United States, raising concerns about demand destruction in the world’s biggest consumer of crude.
Data on Chinese manufacturing output, also published on Wednesday, added to the proof of an economic recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy and largest crude importer.
By 02:00 ET, US oil prices were 0.2% lower at $77.50 per barrel, while Brent futures were 0.2% lower at $84.15.
Furthermore, gold prices dropped 0.4% to $1,838.55/oz, while the EUR/USD fell 0.2% to 1.0641.