European stock futures lower; missile strike, U.K. CPI data in focus

  • Stock Market News
European stock futures lower; missile strike, U.K. CPI data in focus
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are expected to open marginally lower Wednesday, after a fatal missile strike to a village in NATO-member Poland raised political tensions in the region.

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

NATO ambassadors are set to hold a meeting early Wednesday to discuss the attack, which killed two people in a village close to the frontier with Ukraine late Tuesday.

However, Western leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, have urged caution at the G20 meeting in Indonesia, keen to avoid a major escalation with Russia, especially as doubts exist over where the missile was fired from, while Moscow has denied responsibility for the strike.

Russia fired a missile barrage at Ukrainian infrastructure on Tuesday, causing energy outages across the country.

Elsewhere, the latest inflation data out of the U.K. showed that consumer prices rose 11.1% in October from a year earlier, a jump from 10.1% the prior month and a 41-year high, suggesting the Bank of England will have to continue hiking interest rates for some time to come. 

The data comes just a day before Chancellor Jeremy Hunt reveals a number of measures designed to fill an estimated £50 billion (£1=$1.1881) gap in public finances, likely including tax rises and spending cuts.

Over in the U.S., the Republican party is now very close to securing a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, a move that would likely result in two years of gridlock in Washington after President Joe Biden's Democrats retained control of the Senate.

Additionally, former President Donald Trump launched a bid late Tuesday to regain the presidency in 2024, as widely expected.

Turning to the corporate sector, Siemens (NS: SIEM ) Energy (ETR: ENR1n ) will be in the spotlight after the struggling company reported a hefty quarterly net loss, hit by a charge due to the restructuring of its Russian division. 

It also decided against paying a dividend for 2022, citing challenges related to its struggling wind turbine division Siemens Gamesa (BME: SGREN ).

Oil prices weakened Wednesday, with investors seeking more clarity after the missile strike on Poland and in the wake of mixed U.S. inventory data.

A potential escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict is likely to boost oil prices with the prospect of more supply disruptions, but Western leaders have been keen to downplay the incident.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute , released Tuesday, indicated that U.S. crude inventories shrank almost 6 million barrels last week, far more than expected, but gasoline inventories grew 1.7 million barrels. 

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.9% lower at $86.17 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.7% to $93.21. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,777.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.4% higher at 1.0391.

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