European stocks weaken ahead of key EU inflation, US payrolls data

  • Stock Market News
European stocks weaken ahead of key EU inflation, US payrolls data
Credit: © Reuters. - European stock markets fell Friday, with investors cautious ahead of the release of key European inflation data and the widely-watched monthly U.S. jobs report. 

At 03:15 ET (08:15 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.6% lower, the CAC 40 in France traded down 0.7% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. fell 0.5%.

Inflation, payrolls data in focus

European equities have started the new year on a negative note as investors have repriced expectations of early interest rate cuts, primarily by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The influential monthly U.S. payrolls report is due later in the day, and its importance has increased this week after Thursday’s ADP (NASDAQ: ADP ) private payrolls release provided even more evidence of labor market resilience, easing pressure on the Fed to cut rates early in the new year.

Back in Europe, it’s inflation that will be in focus as the December eurozone CPI release is due later in the session.

The headline prints for France and Germany both crept higher earlier in the week, and the eurozone figure is expected to have risen to 3.0% on an annual basis, up from 2.4% in November.

The economic news in Europe remains worrying, with German retail sales falling 2.5% on the month in November, a sharp retreat after a gain of 1.1% the previous month.  

Crude set to post weekly gains

Oil prices edged higher Friday, with the focus remaining on the unrest in the Middle East and the potential for supply disruptions.

By 03:15 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% higher at $72.75 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.6% to $78.02 a barrel.

Both benchmarks are on course to end the first week of the year around 1% higher amid ongoing concerns over Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis targeting shipping in the Red Sea.

However, gains have been limited by data showing a massive build in U.S. oil product inventories in the final week of 2023. The reading indicated that demand remained weak in the world’s largest fuel consumer.

Additionally, gold futures traded largely flat at $2,049.70/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.0920.


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