Investing.com - European stock markets traded higher Wednesday after cooler-than-expected U.K. inflation, while investors await more earnings from major U.S. companies.
U.K. CPI cools in June
The latest consumer prices out of the U.K. showed inflation cooling more than expected, with annual CPI coming in at 7.9% in June, a fall from 8.7% the prior month and below the expected drop to 8.1%.
The drop in the headline figure will be welcomed by the policymakers at the Bank of England, but they are likely to be more impressed with the fall in the core number to 6.9% from 7.1%.
Markets have already priced another 100 basis points of Bank of England rate rises this year, but these numbers will ease some of the pressure on the Bank of England to keep on raising interest rates sharply.
Final eurozone CPI also due
The final reading of the June euro zone CPI is also due later in the session, and is expected to confirm that inflation rose 5.5% on the year last month, a drop from 6.1% the prior month.
The European Central Bank is widely expected to increase interest rates once more when it meets next week, but debate still exists about how far the central bank goes with its tightening after this.
"For July it is a necessity,” governing council member Klaas Knot, a known hawk, said in an interview on Tuesday, regarding interest rate increases, “for anything beyond July it would at most be a possibility, but by no means a certainty."
Renault first-half sales jump
In the corporate sector, Renault (EPA: RENA ) stock rose 1.1% after the French auto giant said its worldwide sales rose 13% in the first six months of the year, with a 24% increase in Europe, rebounding after four consecutive years of declines.
Volvo (ST: VOLVb ) stock fell 2.5% after the Swedish truck maker announced a decrease of 10% in order intake for the quarter, even as it raised its outlook for the European and North American markets.
However, most attention will be on the quarterly earnings releases across the pond, with numbers scheduled from the likes of streaming giant Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ), EV manufacturer Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) and banking behemoth Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ).
Crude stable despite falling U.S. inventories
Oil prices stabilized Wednesday after the previous session’s strong gains, with traders balancing declining U.S. inventories and concerns over China’s stuttering growth.
Data from the industry body American Petroleum Institute , released Tuesday, showed that U.S. crude stockpiles fell 0.8 million barrels last week, after a substantially bigger-than-expected build in the prior week.
Government data from the Energy Information Administration are due later in the session, for confirmation.
However, China’s economy, the second largest in the world, barely grew in the second quarter, and worries about the associated oil demand growth continue to weigh as traders look for more stimulus from Beijing.
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