European stocks edge higher; trading subdued ahead of Jackson Hole

  • Stock Market News
European stocks edge higher; trading subdued ahead of Jackson Hole
Credit: © Reuters. - European stock markets traded in a subdued manner Friday, with investors wary ahead of more monetary policy cues from the Jackson Hole Symposium later in the session.

At 04:00 ET (08:00 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.1% higher, the CAC 40 in France climbed 0.3% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. rose 0.3%.

Nerves fraught ahead of Jackson Hole

The main U.S. indices closed with hefty losses Thursday despite strong earnings from chip maker Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ) on fears of more hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve, with Chair Jerome Powell set to speak at the Jackson Hole Symposium later Friday.

The meeting comes as the Fed faces the choice of raising interest rates again or keeping rates steady after raising them in July. The next policy meeting is in September, and while inflation readings have been cooling in the past few months, they still aren't back to the Fed's annual 2% target.

Additionally, Thursday’s weekly figures on unemployment insurance served as a reminder that the U.S. labor market remains tight, providing no relief for the Fed.

ECB pause momentum growing

Back in Europe, inflation remains an issue but momentum for a pause in the European Central Bank's rate hiking cycle is building as recent economic data pointed to deepening economic pain in Europe.

German gross domestic product was flat in the second quarter, an annual drop of 0.2%, data showed Friday, as the eurozone’s largest economy stagnated, with a deep downturn in manufacturing output weighing on the overall economy.

The European Central Bank next meets in September, and JPMorgan now expects the central bank to pause its tightening cycle in September, with a final 25 basis point hike to now come in October, instead of September, as it predicted earlier.

In the U.K., the GfK consumer sentiment indicator rose to -25 in August from a three-month low of -30 in July, its biggest rise since April, data showed earlier Friday, as lower inflation made Britons less downbeat about the outlook for their personal finances.

Earnings season drawing to a close

The earnings slate is largely empty in Europe Friday.

That said, Ericsson (BS: ERICAs ) stock rose 0.2% after the Swedish telecom gear maker predicted intellectual property rights licensing income of around $1 billion this year after it renewed a patent cross-licensing agreement with China's Huawei.

CMC (NS: CMC ) Markets (LON: CMCX ) stock slumped nearly 14% after the financial derivatives dealer’s full-year guidance fell short of estimates, as subdued trading conditions continued through August.

Crude on course for lower week

Oil prices edged higher Friday, but remained on course for a second consecutive week as concerns over slowing Chinese demand and increased U.S. supply as well as a stronger dollar weighed.

The dollar jumped to its strongest level since early-June earlier Friday, ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole symposium. Strength in the dollar weighs on oil markets by making crude more expensive for international buyers.

By 04:00 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% higher at $79.65 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.7% to $83.97.

The benchmarks are set to fall between 1%-2% for the week, a second consecutive week of decline.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,942.25/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% lower at 1.0772.

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