European stocks slip lower ahead of global inflation cues

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European stocks slip lower ahead of global inflation cues
Credit: © Reuters. - European stock markets slipped lower Monday, starting a new week on a cautious note as investors awaited the release of a series of keenly-awaited inflation cues. 

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

Global inflation cues due

Global equities, including those in Europe, received a boost last week from Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA )'s blockbuster quarterly report, but attention this week is set to return to a familiar theme - inflation and the impact on monetary policy.

The Eurozone is to release what will be closely watched inflation data on Friday, the last such reading before the upcoming European Central Bank meeting on March 7.

Economists are expecting an annual reading of 2.5% for February, dropping from 2.8% in January, moving back towards the ECB’s 2% target after soaring to double digits in 2022.

Inflation reports from Germany , France and Spain are due on Thursday, ahead of the main release.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Federal Reserve's favoured core measure of personal consumption expenditures prices is due on Thursday, and is forecast to rise 0.4% on the month in January.

Recent economic data releases have indicated that the U.S. economy remains robust, prompting investors to push back bets on rate cuts by the Federal Reserve to later in the year. A stickier-than-expected reading could prompt the Fed to delay rate cuts further.

Japan's CPI is out on Tuesday and is forecast to slow to an annual 1.8%, from 2.3% in December.

Bunzl (OTC: BZLFY ) announces an acquisition

The earnings season is gradually winding down, but there are still a number of companies releasing quarterly results.

Bunzl (LON: BNZL ) stock slumped 3.8% after the diversified services group said it expected a slight fall in operating margin after posting a 10% rise in annual profits, despite a dip in revenue driven by a weaker trading in its North American operations. It also announced it is buying 80% of Nisbets, a catering equipment distributor, for £339 million (£1 = $1.2675).

Ryanair (IR: RYA ) stock fell 0.2% after CEO Michael O’Leary warned that the cost of the carrier’s flights could be 10% higher this summer due to a shortage of new planes.

Stellantis (NYSE: STLA ) stock rose 0.2% after the Franco-Italian automaker said it had reached a multi-billion-euro frame agreement with leasing and fleet management company Ayvens to sell up to 500,000 vehicles across Europe over the next three years.

Demand concerns weigh on crude 

Oil prices edged lower Monday, extending last week’s losses as markets remained uncertain over demand, especially in the face of higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates.

By 03:05 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.6% lower at $76.07 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.5% to $80.40 a barrel. 

Both contracts ended last week between 2% and 3% lower on indications that U.S. interest rate cuts could be delayed by two months due to an uptick in inflation.

Demand concerns largely outweighed signs of continued geopolitical instability in the Middle East, which had offered oil some support earlier in 2024 as markets feared potential supply disruptions.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $2,044.50/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0833.


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