European stock futures higher; Congress passes debt bill, payrolls due

  • Stock Market News
European stock futures higher; Congress passes debt bill, payrolls due
Credit: © Reuters. - European stock markets are expected to open higher Friday after the U.S. debt ceiling bill passed through Congress, averting what would have been a calamitous default.

At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.5% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.5% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.3%.

The U.S. Senate late on Thursday passed legislation that suspended the government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling for two years, a day after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

It now heads to the White House to be signed into law by President Joe Biden, just days before a June 5 deadline for a default which would have had severe economic consequences globally, thus ending a key source of anxiety for financial markets over the past month.

Sentiment in Europe has also been boosted by Thursday’s news that eurozone inflation eased more than expected last month, dropping to 6.1% in May from 7.0% in April, below expectations for a fall to 6.3%.

The European Central Bank is widely expected to increase interest rates by another 25 basis points on June 15, adding to the combined 375 basis points of hikes over the past year to combat runaway prices.

However, the recent inflation news has added to the debate of how much further the region’s central bank will go with its monetary policy tightening.

ECB President Christine Lagarde indicated on Thursday that there is the need for further hikes, but Executive Board member Fabio Panetta suggested the central bank doesn’t have a lot further to go.

“I think now is not the time to go too fast, because we have already come a long way,” he said, in an interview with Le Monde, published Friday. “We have not yet reached the final destination, but we are not far from it.”

French industrial production data, due for release later Friday, could add information to the discussion, and is expected to rise 0.3% on the month in April, after slumping 1.1% the prior month.

However, the day’s main economic release will be the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report , which is expected to show that the largest economy in the world added 180,000 jobs in May.

The jobs report will be one of the last pieces of data before the Fed’s June meeting, and could help to determine whether the central bank sticks to its aggressive monetary policy or agrees to pause its 14-month rate hiking campaign.

Oil prices rose Friday as the approval of a bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling removed the threat of a severe hit to global economic activity.

That said, gains have been held back by official data showing U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly grew almost 4.5 million barrels over the past week, pointing to elevated supply and softening demand even as the travel-heavy summer season kicks off.

The weekend sees the latest meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+, amid uncertainty over its plans for future production levels.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1% higher at $70.78 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 1% to $75.00. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,997.20/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0771.

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