European stock futures edge lower; German ZEW sentiment data due

  • Stock Market News
European stock futures edge lower; German ZEW sentiment data due
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are expected to open slightly lower Tuesday, as investors digest dire Chinese growth numbers with concerns about the global economic outlook high on the agenda.

At 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.3% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.2% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.1%.

European equities have had a positive start to the year, as investors hoped that a slowdown by central banks, and the Federal Reserve in particular, of their seemingly relentless monetary tightening would result in a soft landing this year.

The FTSE 100 in the U.K. stands just a few points from its record high of 7,903.5 points.

However, data out of China earlier Tuesday has reminded investors of the difficult current situation, as growth in the world’s second largest economy slowed sharply in the fourth quarter due to stringent COVID curbs, dragging down 2022 growth to one of its worst in nearly half a century.

Growth for 2022 was at 3.0%, far below the official target of around 5.5%, while on a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP came in flat in the final quarter of last year.

The prospect of an imminent global recession is taxing participants at the start of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting, back in Davos after a COVID-influenced three year absence.

Two-thirds of economists surveyed by the WEF expect a global recession this year, with some 18% considering it "extremely likely" - more than twice as many as in the previous survey conducted in September 2022.

The U.K. unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7% in November, data showed Tuesday, while the claimant count rose just short of 20,000 in December as the country’s labor market remained relatively solid.

German inflation fell 0.8% on the month in December, with the annual figure rising 8.6%, a drop from 10.0% the prior month.

However, a lot of the early attention Tuesday is likely to be on the release of Germany’s ZEW survey of economic sentiment for January. This is expected to show an improvement to -15.5 from -23.3 in December.

In corporate news, earnings are scheduled from the likes of recruiter Hays (LON: HAYS ) and consumer credit company Experian (LON: EXPN ), while chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli (SIX: LISN ) confirmed its full-year guidance after strong international sales. 

Oil prices traded in a mixed fashion Tuesday, with investors digesting the Chinese growth data amid continued optimism about a recovery in the country's fuel demand this year.

Also of interest, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries releases its latest analysis later in the session, and traders will be looking for any change in the cartel’s demand forecast for the year. 

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.9% lower at $79.41 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.1% to $84.53. There was no settlement on Monday for the U.S. contract due to a holiday for Martin Luther King Day.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,909.80/oz, while EUR/USD edged lower to 1.0814.

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