Investing.com - European stock markets traded in a subdued fashion Thursday, consolidating after recent gains on optimism that the policy tightening cycles of a series of major central banks are over.
Have interest rates peaked?
The main European equity indices have pushed higher this week, boosted by economic data showing cooling U.S. inflation, with Wednesday’s release indicating producer prices falling at their fastest pace since April 2020. This has supported views that U.S. interest rates have peaked.
Similarly, in Europe, U.K. consumer inflation undershot all forecasts, and the focus will soon shift to the eurozone's latest inflation print on Friday, after it fell to 2.9% in October, its lowest for more than two years.
Economic data releases are thin on the ground in Europe Thursday, but a series of central bankers, including ECB President Christine Lagarde , are set to speak at various events. Investors will be looking for further clues that more interest rate hikes are becoming increasingly unlikely.
Mixed Chinese economic data
However, data released Thursday showed that China's new home prices fell for the fourth straight month, suggesting the crisis-hit property sector will continue to forestall a full-blown revival.
Siemens (NS: SIEM ) impresses, while Burberry warns of weak revenue growth
In the corporate sector, Siemens (ETR: SIEGn ) stock rose 5.7% after the German industrial conglomerate reported fourth-quarter industrial profit ahead of expectation, even as it provided a more cautious sales outlook for 2024.
Aegon (AS: AEGN ) stock rose 3.7% after the Dutch insurer raised its annual capital generation forecast after topping third-quarter expectations, driven by a strong performance in the key U.S. market.
On the flip side, Burberry (LON: BRBY ) stock slumped 8.8% after the British luxury group said it would struggle to meet its annual revenue forecast of low double-digit growth, as it was being hit by a global slowdown in luxury spending.
HelloFresh (ETR: HFGG ) stock slipped over 20% after the German meal-kit maker cut its annual core profit outlook and narrowed down its revenue growth guidance.
Crude falls after U.S. inventories jump
Oil prices retreated Thursday after U.S. inventories rose more than expected, adding to concerns over lackluster energy demand from China.
Data released late Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude stocks rose 3.6 million barrels in the week to November 10, more than expectations for a build of nearly 1.8 million barrels.
Data also showed that U.S. production remained at record highs of 13.2 million barrels per day through the week.
In Asia, China's oil refinery throughput eased in October from the previous month's highs as industrial fuel demand weakened and refining margins narrowed.
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