European Stock Futures Drift Lower Ahead of Eurozone GDP Data
European stock markets are anticipated to open with a slight dip on Thursday as investors await the release of eurozone growth data and monitor upcoming central bank meetings. At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), Germany’s DAX futures contract traded 0.3% lower, France’s CAC 40 futures dropped 0.2%, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 futures contract fell 0.1%.
Investors are exhibiting caution as they look ahead to policy-setting meetings scheduled next week by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the U.S. Federal Reserve. The ECB is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points, given President Christine Lagarde’s recent remarks on inflation pressures. Meanwhile, the Fed’s next move remains uncertain, with futures traders assigning a 70% probability of the central bank pausing rate hikes. The upcoming U.S. consumer price index report and last week’s tight labor market data will provide crucial insights.
In Canada, the Bank of Canada surprised with a 25 basis-point hike on Wednesday, adding to the uncertainty surrounding the Fed’s decision next week.
Investors in Europe will also focus on eurozone unemployment figures for the first quarter and revised gross domestic product (GDP) data for the same period. The initial GDP release indicated no growth in the region during the first three months of the year, marking a slowdown from the previous quarter.
While there are no major earnings announcements scheduled for Thursday, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis (SIX:NOVN) could draw attention as it expects its generics division Sandoz to expand its pipeline and generate an additional $3 billion in net sales over the next five years. Novartis plans to spin off Sandoz to concentrate on its patented prescription medicines.
Oil prices experienced a decline as traders evaluated mixed U.S. fuel inventories and lingering concerns about global demand. Despite unexpected declines in crude inventories, gasoline stockpiles grew for the first time in five weeks, which surprised market participants given the start of the summer driving season. Weak Chinese trade data and sluggish economic readings from the U.S. and Eurozone have raised concerns about global demand, dampening the initial gains from Saudi Arabia’s production cut announcement. U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% lower at $72.47 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.1% to $76.85. Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,960.45/oz, and the EUR/USD pair traded 0.1% higher at 1.0710.