European stock futures higher; China's opening, German industrial production help

  • Stock Market News
European stock futures higher; China's opening, German industrial production help
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are expected to open higher Monday, with sentiment boosted by China’s decision to fully reopen its borders, as investors hoped this move will bolster the outlook for global growth.

At 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.2%, while the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%.

Beijing dropped pandemic border controls on Sunday, opening its perimeter that had been all but shut since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This is likely to result in a boost to the country’s economic activity, which would have a wider impact given China’s importance as a regional growth driver and as a key market for European exporters.

“China looks well positioned across the growth, policy, and inflation cycles in a global context in 2023,” analysts at Goldman Sachs said, in a note. 

Global sentiment had also been boosted Friday by a blend of solid U.S. payroll gains, slower wage growth and a sharp fall in service-sector activity , raising hopes that the Federal Reserve will again slow its interest rate hikes when it next meets in February.

Back in Europe, German industrial production grew 0.2% on the month in November, an improvement from the revised drop of 0.4% the prior month.

However, the outlook still looks grim with four out of ten German companies expecting business to shrink in 2023, according to a survey by the German Economic Institute, released Monday.

"The risk of a gas shortage in the 2022/23 winter season is no longer as present as it was in the summer of 2022, and energy prices have also retreated since then. However, they remain at a high level and production disruptions cannot be ruled out," the German Economic Institute said.

The Eurozone unemployment rate for November is due later in the session. 

In corporate news, the banking sector is likely to be in focus this week as the main U.S. lenders start releasing their fourth quarter earnings, including Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ), Citigroup (NYSE: C ), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) on Friday.

Oil prices rose Friday, helped by the news of the reopening of China’s borders, for the first time in three years, boosting the outlook for fuel demand growth in the world’s largest crude importer.

Both Brent and WTI tumbled more than 8% last week, their biggest weekly declines at the start of a year since 2016, on global recession concerns.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.5% higher at $74.84 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.4% to $79.66. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,882.25/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.4% higher at 1.0684.

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