European stocks edge higher ahead of key PMI data, ECB minutes

  • Stock Market News
European stocks edge higher ahead of key PMI data, ECB minutes
Credit: © Reuters. - European stock markets edged higher Thursday, as investors awaited the minutes from the October ECB meeting as well as the latest regional business activity data.

At 03:05 ET (08:05 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.1% higher, the CAC 40 in France traded up 0.2% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. also rose 0.1%.

ECB minutes, PMI data due

The key debate raging in the markets is have the major central banks finished with interest rates to curb inflation, and if so when will they start cutting.

This debate is likely to be informed Thursday by the release of the minutes of the European Central Bank's October meeting, the gathering that saw the ECB snap an unprecedented streak of 10 consecutive rate hikes.

Comments from policy makers following the meeting have tended to muddy the waters, with dovish comments from Governing Council member Mario Centeno contrasting with President Christine Lagarde warning against premature celebration. 

Meanwhile, the forward-looking flash November PMIs are also due for release, and are likely to suggest economic activity is contracting in the eurozone.

Surprise Dutch election win

Investors will also likely contemplate the likely implications of the victory of Dutch anti-EU far-right populist Geert Wilders in parliamentary elections in the Netherlands overnight.

Additionally, British finance minister Jeremy Hunt announced tax cuts for workers as part of the annual Autumn Statement, while also attempting to  give businesses permanent investment incentives in an attempt to give the struggling U.K. economy a boost.

Novo Nordisk (CSE: NOVOb ) invests in France 

In the corporate sector, activity is likely to be limited with the U.S. celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, but Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO ) could get a boost with French President Emmanuel Macron set to inaugurate a new investment by the  Danish pharmaceutical company in France.

The investment will be based in Chartres, west of Paris, where Novo already employs nearly 2,000 people.

Crude deepens losses on OPEC+ uncertainty

Oil prices fell Thursday, adding to the previous session’s sharp losses as the unexpected delay in an upcoming OPEC+ meeting spurred uncertainty over the extent of the intended reduction in supplies by the producer group. 

By 03:05 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% lower at $76.59 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.8% to $81.32 a barrel. Both contracts fell at least 4% on Wednesday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia delayed to Nov. 30 a ministerial meeting, originally scheduled for Sunday, where they were expected to discuss oil output cuts.

This has prompted speculation that the group of major producers were struggling to agree on output levels and hence possible reductions going forward.

Adding to the negativity, official data showed U.S. crude stocks jumped by 8.7 million barrels last week, much more than expected, and the fourth straight week of builds for U.S. inventories, indicating that oil supplies remained robust. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,997.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0912.


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