European stock markets weakened Thursday, with investors cautious ahead of a key meeting of the European Central Bank against a backdrop of rising inflation and slowing global growth.
At 3:50 AM ET (0750 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.6% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.6% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.2%.
Equity markets globally are struggling to post further gains amid concerns that the recent delta-variant Covid-19 outbreaks will slow the economic recovery just as central banks gradually begin to withdraw monetary policy support to bring inflation back down.
Data from China earlier Thursday amply illustrated the issue, as the country’s factory gate inflation hit a 13-year high in August, with the producer price index rising 9.5% from a year earlier in August, driven by sharply rising raw materials prices.
With this in mind, the European Central Bank Meeting is the main focus Thursday, with the central bank’s policy makers widely expected to announce a timeline to slow its massive bond-buying program.
In corporate news, EasyJet stock fell over 10% after the budget airline announced plans to raise 1.2 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in a rights issue to fund its pandemic recovery, and added it had recently rejected a takeover offer.
The FTSE MIB climbed down by 0.30% to 25,798.30. In the cash markets, the DAX Germany was trading down 0.30% to 15,564.65. CAC 40 in France fell by 0.32 % to 6,647.22 while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. were down by 1.10% to 7,017.35. ,at the time of writing.