European Stock Futures Higher; U.K. Retail Sales Boost Confidence

European Stock Futures Higher; U.K. Retail Sales Boost Confidence

European stock markets are expected to open marginally higher Tuesday helped by strong U.K. retail sales data, although gains are likely to be limited as attention remains on the likely timing of U.S. monetary policy normalization.

At 2 AM ET (0700 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded flat, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.8% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.3%.

U.K. retail sales jumped in December, growing 4.6% compared with December 2019, the British Retail Consortium said Tuesday. Another report from Barclaycard showed consumer spending was up 12.2% last month from two years before.

The reports have created a degree of optimism that the U.K. economy, one of the hardest hit by the Covid pandemic, may be weathering the Omicron variant better than the previous iterations of the virus.

Still, the major focus this week will be on the latest U.S. inflation data and what this means for the pace at which the Federal Reserve will normalize its monetary policy by hiking interest rates and shrinking its balance sheet.

Ahead of Wednesday’s CPI release, which is expected to show the headline figure breaking above 7% year-on-year, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is set to speak at his nomination hearing later in the day.

The FTSE MIB climbed up  by 0.93% to 27,613.20. In the cash markets, the DAX  Germany was trading  Up by      1.22%  to 15,958.65. CAC 40  in France  rose by 1.42% to 7,215.37 while the FTSE 100  in the U.K. was   down by 0.49% to 7,482.35 ,at the time of writing.

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