European stock markets are expected to open higher Thursday, as investors digest the latest U.S. inflation figures ahead of the latest Bank of England policy-setting meeting.
At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.2% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%.
Data released Wednesday showed that U.S. consumer prices rose at a slower-than-expected pace in April, raising hopes that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hiking cycle is close to an end.
This helped the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index close 1% higher on Wall Street Wednesday, and this positive sentiment is expected to filter through to the European market on Thursday.
That said, gains are likely to be limited after softer-than-expected Chinese inflation data pointed to a slowing economic rebound in Asia’s largest economy and a major export market for Europe’s largest companies.
Back in Europe, the Bank of England holds its latest policy-setting meeting later in the session, with its policymakers expected to authorize a 12th consecutive rate hike as U.K. inflation remains in double figures, the highest of any major economy.
In corporate news, Merck KGaA (ETR:MRCG) warned that its operating earnings could decline by as much as 10% this year as the German science and technology company’s outlook for its specialty chemicals business darkened.
Thyssenkrupp (ETR:TKAG), by contrast, raised the outlook for its closely watched free cash flow before mergers and acquisitions, expecting it to turn positive for the first time in seven years.
Earnings are also due from the likes of ITV (LON:ITV), Bayer (ETR:BAYGN), Deutsche Telekom (ETR:DTEGn), RWE (ETR:RWEG) and Prada SpA (HK:1913).
Oil prices rose Thursday, bouncing after recent losses after stronger-than-expected fuel demand data from the United States, the world’s top oil consumer.
Official U.S. data from the Energy Information Administration showed that crude inventories rose by almost 3 million barrels last week.
However, gasoline stocks fell by 3.2 million barrels, much more than the 1.2 million expected, while U.S. jet fuel demand rose to its highest level since December 2019, suggesting demand for transport fuels remains resilient in the U.S.
By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1% higher at $73.28 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 1% to $77.18.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $2,038.35/oz, while EUR/USD traded marginally lower at 1.0978.