European stocks mixed; LVMH slumps as sales growth slows

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European stocks mixed; LVMH slumps as sales growth slows
Credit: © Reuters.

Investing.com - European stock markets traded in a mixed fashion Wednesday, with weakness in LVMH hitting the French market ahead of the release of key U.S. inflation data.

At 04:10 ET (08:10 GMT), the DAX  index in Germany traded 0.2% lower, the FTSE 100  in the U.K. rose 0.1%, while the CAC 40  in France dropped 0.8%.

LVMH slumped on slowing growth

LVMH (EPA: LVMH ) stock slumped almost 6% after the French luxury giant reported a 9% rise in third quarter revenue late Tuesday, marking slower growth as a strong wave of post-pandemic spending eased due to inflation and economic turbulence.

LVMH is facing slowing demand for high end goods in the United States and Europe, and this hit other shares in the fashion sector, including rivals Kering (EPA: PRTP ), Hermes and Richemont (LON: 0QMU ).

Fed officials hint at end of rate hikes

However, other losses are limited as a degree of confidence has returned to global equity markets this week after the weekend’s shocking events in the Middle East, helped by dovish comments from a few Federal Reserve officials which have fueling hopes the world’s most important central bank is nearing the end of its interest rate increases.

"I actually don't think we need to increase rates anymore," Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said Tuesday, at a conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

This follows several Fed officials noting that recent rises in longer-term yields may help do the central bank’s work of tightening financial conditions to tackle inflation, meaning fewer interest rate hikes.

Upcoming inflation data limits volatility

Attention is likely to turn later in the session on to the latest U.S. inflation numbers, starting later Wednesday with the September PPI release ahead of Thursday’s CPI number.

Signs underlying U.S. inflation is moderating are likely to reinforce the recent more dovish tone from Fed members about future policy, likely setting the market tone for the rest of the year.

Futures traders are currently putting a nearly 90% probability on the Fed holding rates steady when it meets again in November. 

There is also inflation data to digest in Europe, as German consumer prices rose 0.3% on the month in September, an annual rise of 4.5%.

While this represents a healthy drop from the prior’s month’s 6.1% annual figure, it’s still considerably above the European Central Bank’s 2% medium term inflation target.

That said, ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau expressed confidence on Tuesday that inflation should still hit target by 2025 even with the violence in Israel weighing on commodity prices.

Crude edges higher on supply concerns

Oil prices edged higher Wednesday as traders still grappled with the potential of supply disruptions due to the turmoil in the Middle East.

The market has calmed down significantly after both crude benchmark contracts rose just over 4% on Monday, but fears remain of political and economic contagion from the fighting ignited by Saturday’s attacks by Palestine militant group Hamas on Israelis in Gaza.

Market participants will also be on the lookout for U.S. weekly oil inventory data from the industry body American Petroleum Institute, due a day later than usual following Monday’s Columbus Day holiday.

By 04:10 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% higher at $86.13 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.3% to $87.89. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,880.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0597.

 

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