European stocks mixed; risk rally pauses for breath

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European stocks mixed; risk rally pauses for breath
Credit: © Reuters.

Investing.com - European stock markets steadied Wednesday, with the risk rally that dominated sentiment at the end of last year pausing as investors digested key economic data. 

At 03:10 ET (08:10 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded largely flat, the FTSE 100 in the U.K. rose 0.2%, while the CAC 40 in France traded down 0.1%.

Risk rally pauses

European equities posted strong gains to end 2023, but this market optimism generated by hopes central banks will announce early interest rate cuts has ebbed in the face of disappointing economic data.

Manufacturing activity data, released on Tuesday, showed a contraction in the eurozone in December for an 18th straight month, pointing to an economy likely in recession.

There was a similar story across the pond, with the U.S. manufacturing PMI falling to 47.9 in December, down from 49.4 the prior month, and further into contraction territory. 

The economic data slate is quiet in Europe Wednesday, with only German unemployment data for December scheduled. 

More attention will be paid to the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting, due for release later Wednesday, which will help traders gauge the central bank's thinking around monetary easing.

Online travel agents stopped selling Ryanair (NASDAQ: RYAAY ) flights

In corporate news, Ryanair (IR: RYA ) will be in the spotlight after the low-cost carrier said that a number of online travel agents had stopped selling its flights in early December following legal and regulatory pressure.

Ryanair said it expected the move to reduce its short-term load factors by 1% or 2% in December and January but that it did not expect it to materially affect full-year traffic volumes or its profit-after tax guidance.

Crude drops ahead of U.S. stockpiles

Oil prices retreated Wednesday after sharp gains earlier in the week, ahead of the release of crucial weekly inventories data from the U.S., the world’s largest consumer.

By 03:10 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.6% lower at $69.95 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.5% to $75.51 a barrel.

U.S. crude stockpiles from the American Petroleum Institute industry group are due later Wednesday, a day later than usual due to Monday’s New Year’s holiday, ahead of the official data on Thursday.

The crude benchmarks had climbed sharply earlier in the week as attacks on vessels in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels over the weekend had raised concerns of potential supply disruptions through this key region.  

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.1% to $2,072.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0964.

 

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