European stocks edge higher; eurozone growth data in spotlight

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European stocks edge higher; eurozone growth data in spotlight

Investing.com - European stock markets edged higher Tuesday, as investors awaited regional growth data, the start of the Federal Reserve’s first meeting of the year and earnings from some tech giants.

At 03:05 ET (08:05 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.3% higher, the CAC 40 in France traded up 0.2% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. rose 0.3%.

Eurozone GDP release on focus

The main European indices started the new week on a cautious note, but the underlying tone remains positive as investors look to the European Central Bank , and the Federal Reserve , to soon start cutting interest rates to support the region’s economic recovery.

With this in mind, investors will study the release of gross domestic product data in the eurozone , France and Germany for the fourth quarter, with weak figures likely to heap the pressure on ECB officials to start easing monetary policy.

The Federal Reserve also starts its two-day policy-setting meeting later in the session, and while the U.S. central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged investors will be looking for clues over when rate cuts are likely to start.

Diageo hit by fall in earnings

In the corporate sector, Diageo (LON: DGE ) stock fell 4% after the U.K. spirits manufacturer reported a decline in earnings as demand for expensive spirits slumped in the Americas, suggesting the sector was struggling to attract discretionary spending.

BBVA (BME: BBVA ) stock rose 0.2% after the Spanish lender announced plans for a hefty share buyback as fourth-quarter net profit climbed on higher income, taking its full-year result to a new record.

However, a lot of the attention in the corporate world Tuesday will be on the U.S. tech sector, with the mega-cap companies Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) and AMD (NASDAQ: AMD ) set to report later in the session.

Crude steadies as Middle East tensions escalate

Oil prices steadied Tuesday after the previous session’s losses, as escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East fuelled supply concerns.

By 03:05 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $76.80 a barrel, while the Brent contract traded flat at $81.82 a barrel.

Crude markets are on edge after the U.S. vowed to take "all necessary actions" to defend its troops following a deadly drone attack in Jordan by Iran-backed militants, potentially resulting in regional energy supply disruptions in the oil-rich Middle East.

The crude contracts fell over $1 on Monday as a deepening real estate crisis fuelled worries about demand from China, the world's biggest crude consumer.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.6% to $2,055.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0825.

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