European Stock Futures Just Higher; U.S. Inflation Key This Week

European Stock Futures Just Higher; U.S. Inflation Key This Week

European stock markets are expected to open marginally higher Monday, with investors wary at the start of a week that includes the release of key U.S. inflation data and comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

At 2 AM ET (0700 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.3% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.3% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.2%.

Global stock markets will be focusing squarely on the latest U.S. inflation data this week, with strong numbers potentially cementing an early rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

The consumer price inflation data, on Wednesday, is expected to show headline CPI breaking above 7% year-on-year, approaching a four-decade high, while producer price inflation data the following day is also expected to show a surge higher.

Additionally, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify Tuesday before a Senate panel at his nomination hearing, and his comments will be parsed carefully for clues as to the central bank’s intentions.

The Fed is expected to lift interest rates well before its Euroxone counterpart, with influential investment bank Goldman Sachs now seeing the U.S. central bank raising interest rates four times this year. Even so, annual inflation in the Eurozone hit 5.0% last week, a new record high, raising the pressure on the European Central Bank to tighten its own monetary policy.

This is occurring against a backdrop of a rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus over the holiday period, with the healthcare systems in many European countries stretched almost to the limit.

The FTSE MIB climbed up  by 0.04% to 27,634.20. In the cash markets, the DAX  Germany was trading  down by 0.47%  to 15,873.65. CAC 40  in France  fell by 0.47% to 7,185.37 while the FTSE 100  in the U.K. was   up by 0.34% to 7,461.35 ,at the time of writing.

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