European stocks higher; U.K. index leads as German consumer confidence slips

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European stocks higher; U.K. index leads as German consumer confidence slips - European stock markets traded higher Tuesday, with the U.K. leading the way after returning from holiday, even after German consumer confidence weakened. 

At 03:40 ET (07:40 GMT), the DAX  index in Germany traded 0.4% higher, the CAC 40  in France climbed 0.4% and the FTSE 100  in the U.K. rose 1.5%.

German consumer confidence still weak

German consumer confidence likely remained weak in September, with the forward-looking GfK consumer climate index coming in at -25.5, data showed earlier Tuesday, slipping slightly from August’s revised -24.6.

The dominant German economy is struggling, suffering from a deepening downturn in manufacturing output, with data last week showing that the eurozone’s largest economy recorded no growth in the second quarter.

That said, European markets have taken positive cues from Wall Street, with these gains spilling over into Asian trade. The benchmark U.K. index is leading the way, catching up with the gains seen on Monday when London was on holiday.

Traders are also awaiting the release of consumer prices for August, with the eurozone CPI expected to register a small drop in the annual release to 5.1%, from 5.3% in July. 

The European Central Bank next meets in September, and this economic slowdown could prompt the central bank to pause its tightening cycle in September. However, with inflation still way above its 2% medium-term target another 25 basis point hike is still likely before the end of the year.

UBS in spotlight this week

The quarterly earnings season is gradually coming to a close, but NN Group (AS: NN ) stock advanced 10% after the Dutch insurer said its capital position had improved in the first six months of 2023.

Bunzl (LON: BNZL ) stock advanced 3.7% after the British business supplies distributor raised its annual adjusted operating profit forecast.

UBS (SIX: UBSG ) stock fell 0.6%, with the Swiss banking giant set to publish. on Thursday, its first earnings report since its takeover of Swiss rival Credit Suisse (SIX: CSGN ). Besides its second-quarter figures - delayed by over a month because of the deal's complexities - investors will be poring over any additional information for clues on how the biggest banking rescue since the global financial crisis is playing out.

Crude flat ahead of key economic data

Oil prices traded largely flat Tuesday, as traders warily await key economic data, due later in the week, that could influence the path of U.S. interest rates as well as provide indications of future Chinese demand. 

Thursday sees the release of the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index report, the Fed’s favorite inflation gauge, while the August nonfarm payrolls release is due on Friday.

Chinese purchasing managers’ index data are also due on Thursday and Friday, and are expected to shed more light on business activity in the world’s largest oil importer. 

Traders will also be keeping an eye on the path of Tropical Storm Idalia, which is expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday, likely causing some production shutdowns in the oil-producing Gulf of Mexico region.

By 03:40 ET, U.S. crude futures traded just higher at $80.12 a barrel, while the Brent contract gained slightly to $83.89. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,951.45/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0823.

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