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European stocks weaken ahead of BOE, eurozone CPI; Deutsche Bank shines

Published 2024/02/01, 10:24
© Reuters.

Investing.com - European stock markets fell Thursday, as investors digested the outcome from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting and more corporate earnings ahead of the release of eurozone inflation data and the Bank of England’s latest monetary policy decision. 

At 03:10 ET (08:10 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.4% lower, the CAC 40 in France traded down 0.8% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. fell 0.6%.

Bank of England meeting, eurozone CPI in focus

The Bank of England is the latest major central bank to hold a policy-setting meeting, and is widely expected to hold interest rates unchanged at elevated levels later Thursday.

Inflation remains above the central bank’s 2% target, but has dropped sharply from the 41-year high of 11.1% seen in October 2022, and thus policymakers could use this occasion to suggest that they are tentatively moving towards cutting interest rates.

The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged late Wednesday, but Chairman Jerome Powell downplayed any hopes of early cuts, saying inflation is still running above the Fed's target and this would likely prevent policymakers from lowering rates at its next meeting in March.

The European Central Bank also kept its monetary policy unchanged last week, but sounded confident that inflation was coming under control, fuelling already widespread bets that policy easing could start in early spring.

Eurozone inflation data is scheduled for release later in the session, with the January consumer price index expected to fall to 2.7%, a drop from 2.9% the prior month.

Deutsche Bank shines with quarterly earnings

The banking sector will be in the spotlight in Europe Thursday, as the quarterly earnings season continues in full stride.

Deutsche Bank (ETR:DBKGn) stock rose 1% after the German lender’s fourth-quarter net profit came in well ahead of expectations, while announcing plans to hike share buybacks and dividends by 50%.

BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY) stock fell over 8% after the French banking giant’s quarterly earnings missed expectations, leading it to revise down its profit targets for 2025.

Julius Baer (SIX:BAER) stock fell 1.1% after the Swiss wealth manager reported hefty net credit losses linked to its exposure to property and retail giant Signa Holding, prompting CEO Philipp Rickenbacher to leave.

Additionally, Shell (LON:SHEL) stock rose 1% after the oil major reported a 2023 profit of $28 billion, ahead of expectations, allowing it to increase its dividend while announced a $3.5 billion share buyback program.

Sanofi (EPA:SASY) (NASDAQ:SNY) stock fell 2.2% after the French drugmaker's fourth-quarter operating income declined 5%, hit by competition for its established multiple sclerosis drug.

Adidas (OTC:ADDYY) stock fell over 8% after the German sportswear maker disappointed with its 2024 forecast, hit by limited profits from selling off its last stocks of Yeezy shoes after its break-up with Kanye West.

Crude steadies ahead of OPEC+ meeting

Oil prices traded in tight ranges Thursday, helped by the elevated tensions in the Middle East but amid caution ahead of the latest OPEC+ meeting.

By 03:10 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% lower at $75.53 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.4% to $80.22 a barrel.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, is set to hold a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee later in the day - its first major meeting of 2024.

The meeting is not expected to result in any changes to production, particularly after the difficulties the group had in agreeing output cuts late in 2023.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.8% to $2,056.85/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% lower at 1.0784.


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