European stock futures drift lower; banking sector remains in focus

  • Stock Market News
European stock futures drift lower; banking sector remains in focus
Credit: © Reuters. - European stock markets are expected to open lower Thursday, as growing concerns over the health of the U.S. banking industry added to worries about a global economic slowdown.

At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% lower, CAC 40 futures in France traded largely flat, while the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.3%.

Shares in U.S. regional lender First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ) slumped 30% Wednesday, adding to similar losses the previous session, after the bank revealed $100 billion in customer withdrawals last month, raising fears about its long term viability.

Bloomberg also reported that U.S. bank regulators were considering downgrading their assessments of the bank, which would hinder its ability to borrow from the Federal Reserve.

Worries about contagion have impacted sentiment overseas. 

In Japan, Nomura (TYO: 8604 ) stock fell 7% earlier Thursday after its quarterly profit plummeted 76%, as concerns over a banking crisis and slowing growth battered the firm’s investment banking unit.

Back in Europe, the news was less gloomy as Deutsche Bank (ETR: DBKGn ) posted a better-than-expected 9% rise in first-quarter profit, its 11th straight quarterly profit, as income from higher interest rates offset a slump in revenues at the investment bank.

BBVA (BME: BBVA ) reported its first-quarter net profit rose almost 40% from the same quarter in 2022 thanks to a solid performance in Mexico, its main market, while both Swedbank and Nordea reported larger than expected first-quarter net profits.

U.K. banking giant Barclays (LON: BARC ) is also scheduled to release its quarterly earnings Thursday.

Away from the financial sector, Pernod Ricard (EPA: PERP ) reported disappointing sales in the third quarter, but the French spirits group said it was still confident of delivering a strong performance over the 2022/2023 full year.

Earnings are also scheduled from the likes of Unilever (NYSE: UL ), AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN ), WPP (LON: WPP ) and J Sainsbury (LON: SBRY ). 

Thursday's economic data calendar from Europe sees some Eurozone sentiment indexes, consumer and business sentiment readings for Italy, along with retail sales and the jobless rate in Spain.

Oil prices edged higher Thursday, helped by a much larger-than-expected drop in weekly U.S. crude inventories, but are on course for a losing week on concerns slowing economic growth will hit future oil demand.

U.S. crude stocks fell by 5.1 million barrels last week, following a 4.6M barrel draw in the prior week and below the expected 1.5M barrel decrease, according to data from the Energy Information Administration , released late Wednesday.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% higher at $74.61 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.5% to $78.08.

Both benchmarks are on course to post losses of almost 4% this week, close to a one-month low, having erased all the gains made on the back of a surprise production cut by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies at the start of this month. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.6% to $2,007.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.1058.

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