European stocks largely flat ahead of crucial U.S. CPI Release
By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets traded largely unchanged Tuesday in tight ranges ahead of the release of crucial U.S. inflation data later in the session which could set the tone for the rest of the year.
At 03:50 ET (08:50 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.1% higher, the FTSE 100 in the U.K. climbed 0.1%, while CAC 40 in France traded down 0.1%.
Global stock markets are largely in a holding pattern ahead of the U.S. consumer price index for November, which is expected to show a moderation in the annual pace, to 7.3% from 7.7% the prior month, while the core inflation remains steady at 0.3% month-on-month.
Investors generally remain very wary about the risks of further increases in borrowing costs hurting economies, and signs of inflation remaining at elevated levels could prevent the Federal Reserve from beginning to slow its aggressive rate rises when it concludes its latest policy-setting meeting on Wednesday.
Back in Europe, the U.K. claimant count increased by 30,500 in November, while the October unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, from 3.6% the prior month, as the country’s labor market began to feel the repercussions of the slowdown in consumer spending.
Additionally, U.K. wages rose faster in October than at any time on record, rising 6.1% on the year, providing more justification for the Bank of England to increase interest rates again when it meets on Thursday.
The final reading of the headline annual German CPI figure came in at 10.0% for November, down from 10.4% the prior month.
Investors will also focus on the German ZEW economic sentiment survey, which is expected to show a slight improvement in confidence in the Eurozone's biggest economy, ahead of Thursday's meeting of the European Central Bank.
In corporate news, InterContinental Hotels Group (LON: IHG ) stock rose 0.2% after the owner of the Holiday Inn chain announced Michael Glover, the finance chief of its Americas division and group head of commercial finance, will be promoted to the role of chief financial officer.
Chemring (LON: CHG ) stock fell 0.8% despite the U.K. defense firm reporting a rise in profits while maintaining its guidance for the current year, saying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having a “profound impact” on defense spending and priorities.
Crude oil prices have extended the previous session’s gains on continued concerns about tightening supply as the Keystone pipeline between the U.S. and Canada remained closed.
Keystone has remained shut since a massive leak in the U.S. state of Kansas was reported on Dec. 7, preventing around 620,000 barrels-per-day of Canadian crude from entering the United States, the largest consumer in the world.
The pipeline closure is likely to be reflected in the latest U.S. crude inventories, with the latest numbers from the industry body American Petroleum Institute due later Tuesday ahead of the official data from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
Comments from China’s ambassador to the U.S. late Monday that his country will continue to relax its strict COVID-19 measures have also helped the tone.
By 03:55 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% higher at $74.14 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.6% to $79.20. Both benchmarks settled up more than 2% in the previous session.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,796.55/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0541.
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