European Stock Futures Edge Higher; Sentiment Weak on Recession Fears

  • Stock Market News
European Stock Futures Edge Higher; Sentiment Weak on Recession Fears
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are expected to open marginally higher Tuesday, rebounding to a degree after the previous session’s selloff, but investors continue to fret over the combination of rising interest rates and lower economic growth.

At 2 AM ET (0600 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.8% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.8%, and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.6%.

European stocks slumped on Monday, with the DAX , CAC 40 , and FTSE 100 , all closing over 2% lower and the pan-European STOXX 600 index falling to two-month lows. These regional markets are following the global trend lower as central banks start to aggressively raise interest rates to combat inflation, prompting growing fears of recession.

The European markets may attempt a small rebound Tuesday, but a closely watched survey by the British Retail Consortium, released earlier in the session, illustrated the extent of the slowdown in U.K. growth.

The data showed U.K. retail sales fell 0.3% in April from a year earlier, the first drop since January 2021 when the nation was in lockdown.

Attention now turns to the release of Germany's closely watched ZEW sentiment index later in the session, which is expected to have dropped again in April from a level that was already the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

Russia’s invasion on Ukraine remains another source of market tension. Russian President Vladimir Putin was silent about plans for an escalation in Ukraine on Monday as he marked the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, but the fighting continues.

In corporate news, agriculture and pharmaceuticals company Bayer (ETR: BAYGN ) reported strong growth from its quarterly core earnings on strong gains at its seeds and pesticides business, and more numbers are due from the likes of Munich Re (ETR: MUVGn ), Pirelli (BIT: PIRC ) and Salvatore Ferragamo (BIT: SFER ).

Renault (EPA: RENA ) will also be in focus after the French carmaker announced plans to sell just over a third of its Korea unit to Chinese rival Geely Automobile (HK: 0175 ) for roughly $200 million, freeing up funds to invest in its core markets and electric business.

Oil prices dropped Tuesday, extending the previous session’s declines as it appears the European Union will soften its stance on a phased Russian oil embargo as the  countries most dependent on Russian energy, like landlocked Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, have sought exemptions.

The market was boosted last week after the European Commission proposed a deal to eventually ban Russian oil, but the proposal requires approval from all 27 EU countries, something which has proved difficult so far.

This has added to fears that growing recession risks will hit the outlook for global demand, especially given China’s ongoing COVID lockdowns. 

By 2 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1,1% lower at $101.91 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 1.2% to $104.69. Both benchmarks posted their biggest daily percentage fall since March on Monday, dropping by 5% to 6%.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,863.74/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0577.

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