European stocks drift lower; key economic data releases to guide sentiment

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European stocks drift lower; key economic data releases to guide sentiment
Credit: © Reuters.

Investing.com - European stock markets traded mostly lower Monday, with investors on edge at the start of a week that includes a string of important economic readings. 

At 03:15 ET (08:15 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.1% lower, the CAC 40 in France traded largely flat, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. fell 0.2%.

Stock markets around the globe have generally had a good month so far - with the DAX in Europe around 9% higher, Japan's Nikkei up more than 8% so far in November, as is the broad-based S&P 500 in the U.S., its best performance since mid-2022.

Given the extent of these gains, it’s probably no surprise that the approach of the month's end has generated some caution.

Key inflation data due

Adding to the nerves Monday is the knowledge that the upcoming week is set to contain the release of a number of important economic numbers that could guide central bank thinking ahead of the round of policy-setting meetings in December.

Data on EU inflation is due on Thursday, along with measures for Germany and Spain . Core EU inflation is forecast at 3.9%, the lowest since the middle of last year, which could raise expectations that the European Central Bank has reached the end of its rate-hiking cycle.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is scheduled to speak at the EU parliament later Monday, and her comments will be parsed carefully for clues towards future policy.

The Federal Reserve's favoured measure of inflation - personal consumption expenditures - is also due on Thursday, as are on key purchasing managers index readings from China for November, due Thursday. 

Middle East truce

The data slate is largely empty in Europe Monday, with only the U.K.’s CBI distributive trades survey for November of note. 

The earnings calendar is also quiet, and investors could keep an eye on events in Gaza, with Israel and Hamas currently in a truce under which Israel has been recovering some of the 240 people Hamas took hostage on Oct 7. In exchange, Israel has been freeing some Palestinians jailed on security grounds.

Crude lower with OPEC+ meeting in focus

Oil prices fell Monday, as investors warily awaited the delayed OPEC+ meeting later in the week for news of production levels into 2024. 

By 03:15 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1% lower at $74.81 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.9% to $79.78 a barrel. 

The crude benchmarks posted small gains last week, the first winning week in five, but fell sharply in the middle of the week as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+, postponed a meeting to Nov. 30 from Nov. 26, with the delay reportedly caused by disagreements over planned production cuts.

The group has since moved closer to a compromise, according to reports, an extension of the unilateral Saudi and Russia cuts through at least the first quarter of next year looks likely.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.5% to $2,012.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0949.

 

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