European stocks largely lower; key inflation data looms

  • Stock Market News
European stocks largely lower; key inflation data looms
Credit: © Reuters. - European stock markets largely fell Thursday, with rising global bond yields hitting sentiment ahead of the release of highly anticipated inflation data at the end of the week.

At 03:10 ET (07:10 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.3% lower, and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. dropped 0.2% while the CAC 40 in France rose 0.1%.

Rising yields hit sentiment 

Equities have retreated in Europe, following the weakness on Wall Street and the losses in Asia overnight, with sentiment pressured by rising U.S. Treasury yields as worries about inflation play into the narrative that interest rates will remain elevated for longer than expected.

The two-year U.S. Treasury yield traded near the 5% level on Thursday while the 10-year yield stayed near its strongest level in weeks.

Data released on Wednesday showed consumer prices in Germany rose more than forecast in May, ensuring that the spotlight is shining even more brightly on the eurozone's reading on Friday.

The eurozone inflation release is expected to tick up 2.5% in May year-on-year, from 2.4% in April.

The European Central Bank is widely expected to cut interest rates next week, but uncertainty over what follows is making investors nervous.

Over in the U.S., the focus is squarely on upcoming gross domestic product data later in the session, and more importantly the PCE price index data, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, on Friday. 

Several Fed officials have warned that there needs to be more substantial progress on inflation before the U.S. central bank should be considering cuts.

BHP walks away from Anglo deal

In corporate news, BHP Group (NYSE: BHP ) tock fell 1.7% after the mining giant decided against making a formal offer for Anglo American (JO: AGLJ ) (LON: AAL ), walking away from its $49 billion takeover deal.

"We were unable to reach agreement with Anglo American on our specific views in respect of South African regulatory risk and cost," BHP said in a statement, adding that it did not get "key information" from Anglo to address these risks.

Crude slips despite US inventory draw 

Crude prices slipped lower Thursday, as wider concerns over high borrowing costs outweighed optimism over a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. inventories. 

By 03:10 ET, the U.S. crude futures (WTI) traded 0.3% lower at $79.03 per barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.3% to $83.1 per barrel.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Wednesday that U.S. oil inventories shrank nearly 6.5 million barrels last week, much more than expectations for a draw of 1.9 million barrels.

The data usually heralds a similar reading from official inventory data, which is due later Thursday. The outsized draw suggested that U.S. fuel demand was picking up with the onset of the travel-heavy summer season, widely seen as the Memorial Day weekend. 


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