By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open higher Wednesday, rebounding at the start of a new month with the focus on key manufacturing sector activity amid concerns over the impact of rising prices.
European equities are set to start the month of June on a positive note, rebounding after the previous month ended with sharp losses–the DAX closed down 1.3% and the CAC 40 dropped 1.4%--after Eurozone consumer prices jumped 8.1% year-on-year in May, a record high.
This stoked concerns that the European Central Bank , which meets next week, will be forced to move quickly to raise interest rates , strengthening the case for an outsized interest rate hike to start.
Attention Wednesday will turn to the release of May manufacturing PMI survey data for the Eurozone, amid fears that soaring inflation and supply chain issues will dampen confidence in this key sector.
Data earlier Wednesday showed China's factory activity shrank less sharply in May than expected, with the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rising to 48.1 in May, improving from 46.0 in April, a 26-month low.
The May figure is still below the 50-point index mark which separates growth from contraction, and was the second sharpest slump since February 2020, suggesting the recovery remains fragile.
Back in Europe, German retail sales crashed 5.4% on the month in April, indicating consumers may well be cutting back on discretionary spending in Europe’s largest economy as prices of core products like food and energy climb sharply.
In corporate news, HSBC (LON: HSBA ) could be in the spotlight after CEO Noel Quinn said in an interview earlier Wednesday that the banking giant plans to invest more than 3 billion yuan ($448 million) in its China operations.
Oil prices stabilized Wednesday, still supported by the decision of the European Union to substantially reduce oil imports from Russia as well as China ended its COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.
However, gains have been capped by a WSJ report that some producers are thinking of suspending Russia’s participation in the output deal agreed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies.
Exempting Russia, as the Western sanctions have hit the country’s ability to lift production, could pave the way for other OPEC members, mainly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to produce more, potentially bringing down prices.
The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to reveal its weekly estimate of U.S. crude oil supply later in the session.
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