European Stocks Edge Lower; Caution Ahead of Lagarde and Payrolls

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European Stocks Edge Lower; Caution Ahead of Lagarde and Payrolls
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets edged slightly lower Friday, ending the week on a cautious note ahead of a speech by ECB President Christine Lagarde as well as the keenly-awaited U.S. monthly jobs report.

By 03:45 AM ET (0745 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.1% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.1%, and the UK’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.1%.

European indices have rebounded to a degree this week after the brutal sell-off in the first half of the year, with investors trying to shake off concerns about a looming recession. 

However, central bank actions are keeping them on edge as they try to assess the impact of aggressive rate hikes on global growth. 

Additionally, the shooting of Japanese former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier Friday while campaigning for a national election as well as the ongoing political crisis in the U.K. which has seen the departure from office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has created an air of uncertainty in global markets.

A speech by European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde later in the session on the risks facing the global economy will be of great interest ahead of the central bank’s next meeting in which it is expected to lift interest rates.

Also of prime importance will be the release of the latest monthly U.S. jobs report , which is expected to show the number of Americans in paid employment increasing modestly in June though not by as much as the number of jobs added in May.

In corporate news, BMW (ETR: BMWG ) stock fell 0.4% after the German auto giant sold over 13% fewer vehicles in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021 amid chip shortages and intermittent lockdowns in China, with sales falling by nearly 20% in the second quarter.

JD Sports (LON: JD ) stock rose 0.4% after the retailer named Andrew Higginson as its new chairman, effective Monday, while Tag Immobilien (ETR: TEGG ) stock fell around 9% after the troubled German real estate company announced it will seek to raise 200 million euros ($204 million) with a deeply discounted capital increase. 

Oil prices weakened Friday, on course for a second straight weekly loss as recession fears, and the associated demand destruction, continued to weigh.

U.S. crude inventories hit two-month highs last week, according to Thursday’s data from the Energy Information Administration , with stockpiles at just over 8 million barrels.

By 03:45 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% lower at $101.99 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.5% to $104.12. Both benchmarks fell to near three-month lows on Wednesday, while Brent's $10.73 drop on Tuesday was the third biggest for the contract since it started trading in 1988.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,733.30/oz, while EUR/USD fell 0.7% to 1.0088.

 

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