European stocks rise ahead of key US CPI; Tesco lifts profit guidance

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European stocks rise ahead of key US CPI; Tesco lifts profit guidance - European stock markets rose Thursday, buoyed by gains on Wall Street overnight as investors await the release of key U.S. inflation data. 

At 03:25 ET (08:25 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.7% higher, the CAC 40 in France traded up 0.5% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. rose 0.5%.

U.S. CPI to determine sentiment

Sentiment in Europe has been boosted Thursday by the strength on Wall Street overnight, with the main equity indices closing higher, helped by gains from the heavyweight technology stocks. 

This trend spilled over into Asia, with the Nikkei index in Japan trading past 35,000 for the first time in nearly 34 years.

That said, gains in Europe will be limited by a degree of caution as traders await the release of the important U.S. consumer price index later in the session.

Uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve will sanction early interest rate cuts has resulted in weakness in global stock markets so far in this new year.

The CPI reading is expected to show a mild increase in headline inflation, but core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy prices, are expected to fall.

Eurozone faces recession possibility

Data released earlier Thursday showed that Spanish industrial production rose 0.8% on an annual basis in November, rebounding from a revised 1.4% drop the prior month. 

The latest economic bulletin from the European Central Bank is due later in the session, but comments from various ECB officials earlier in the week painted a picture of a very weak eurozone economy.

"Soft indicators point to an economic contraction in December too, confirming the possibility of a technical recession in the second half of 2023 and weak prospects for the near term," Vice President Luis de Guindos said, on Wednesday.

Tesco (OTC: TSCDY ) lifts full-year profit guidance

In the corporate sector, Tesco (LON: TSCO ) stock rose 1% after the U.K.’s largest grocer raised its full-year profit guidance after posting strong sales growth during the important Christmas period.

Pagero (ST: PAGERO ) stock soared over 15% after Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI ) said it has offered to buy Swedish e-invoicing and tax solutions company for around $625 million, topping an earlier offer from U.S. tax technology firm Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX ).

Crude rebounds after U.S. inventories build

Oil prices rose Thursday, rebounding after the previous session’s weakness as attacks on shipping through the Red Sea persisted.

By 03:25 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.3% higher at $71.58 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.3% to $77.03 a barrel.

Both benchmarks settled lower on Wednesday after official data showed an unexpected weekly build of 1.3 million barrels in U.S. inventories , contrasting with earlier industry data that signaled a weekly draw. 

While the build was minimal, the data also showed a second straight week of large product inventory builds, pointing to weakness in U.S. fuel demand. This notion was exacerbated by a severe winter storm on the east coast of the country, which further disrupted road travel in the world’s largest fuel consumer.

However, the market remained supported by ongoing concerns about disruptions to MIddle East supplies after Yemen-based Houthis mounted their largest attack yet on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea on Wednesday. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.5% to $2,037.90/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0981.


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