European Stock Futures Largely Lower; Caution Over Ukraine Peace Talks

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European Stock Futures Largely Lower; Caution Over Ukraine Peace Talks
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open largely lower Wednesday, handing back some of the previous session’s hefty gains amid caution over the potential success of Ukraine-Russia peace talks. 

At 2:05 AM ET (0605 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.4% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.2%, while the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.2%.

Negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian diplomats in Istanbul Tuesday resulted in Russia stating it will sharply reduce military activity near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, with chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky saying the country would take steps to “de-escalate” the conflict.

This prompted European equities to close sharply higher on Tuesday, with the DAX gaining 2.8% and the CAC 40 rising 3.1%.

However, doubts have since emerged over Russia’s intentions, with the Pentagon warning that Kyiv remains under threat. 

"Ukrainians are not naive people," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said late on Tuesday. "Ukrainians have already learned during these 34 days of invasion, and over the past eight years of the war in Donbass, that the only thing they can trust is a concrete result."

The European economic data slate includes Spanish and German consumer inflation data, Italian consumer and business confidence as well as Eurozone sentiment data. 

However, most eyes will be on the U.S. market, with fourth-quarter GDP numbers due as well as the ADP (NASDAQ: ADP ) releasing its private payrolls data ahead of the closely watched monthly jobs report , on Friday.

In corporate news, UBS (SIX: UBSG ) will be in the spotlight after the Swiss lender announced the results of its 2021 share buyback, spending 3.81 billion Swiss francs ($4.10 billion) repurchasing its shares equivalent to 6.49% of its share capital.

Next (LON: NXT ) will also be in focus, with the U.K. retailer set to release its latest earnings.

Oil prices rose Wednesday, rebounding after a two-day retreat following a fresh reminder of the tight nature of the market as data showed U.S. crude stocks fell sharply last week.

Data from the industry body, the American Petroleum Institute , showed U.S. crude inventories fell by 3 million barrels in the week ended March 25. The official data from the Energy Information Administration is due later in the session.

The oil market had dropped about 2% in the previous session following the progress in the Ukraine/Russia peace talks, and more than 7% on Monday on demand worries over fresh Covid-19 lockdowns in China, the world’s largest crude importer. 

By 2:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% higher at $105.52 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.3% to $109.08. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,924.40/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.1110.

 

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