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European Stock Futures Largely Lower; U.K. Retail Sales Surprise

Stock Markets Aug 19, 2022 02:00AM ET
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By Peter Nurse

Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open largely lower Friday as investors fret about soaring energy prices, tightening monetary policy, and slowing growth.

At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.4% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.2%, while the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%.

Recession fears are starting to mount in Europe, with natural gas prices hitting record highs on Thursday adding to inflationary pressures just as Eurozone consumer prices were confirmed at an annual 8.9% in July, way above the European Central Bank’s 2% target.

This suggests that the region’s central bank will have to add another half-point rate hike in September, to July’s increase, which will exacerbate the risk of recession.

Economic growth in the Eurozone for the second quarter was revised down on Wednesday to 0.6% from 0.7% quarter on quarter.

There was some relatively good news Friday, as retail sales in the U.K. surprisingly rose 0.3% on the month in July, but this still represented an annual drop of 3.4% as British consumers continued to struggle with soaring prices–CPI climbed over 10% in July–reining in discretionary spending.

Consumer sentiment in the U.K. slumped as the record levels of inflation caused the GfK consumer sentiment index to sink to -44 in August from July's reading of -41, which was already the lowest since the survey began.

Adding to the negative sentiment was the news that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to testify later Friday over his role as Hamburg mayor in tackling a multibillion-euro tax fraud in a case that threatens to tarnish him shortly after rising to the role of the country’s political leader.

Across the Atlantic, Federal Reserve policymakers were out in force Thursday, expressing the view that further interest rate hikes were needed to tame inflation. This puts next week’s Jackson Hole symposium firmly in focus for guidance over how far the Fed intends to go in tightening monetary policy.

Oil prices edged lower Friday, on course for a weekly loss despite a two-day rally midweek, as concerns over a global slowdown dampening demand for crude continue to hold sway.

Data released on Wednesday showing that U.S. crude inventories fell sharply last week helped reassure traders that U.S. demand was holding up despite the high price levels, but lingering recession fears and a possible increase in output by Iran have turned the market negative.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% lower at $89.80 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.6% to $95.97. Both benchmark contracts were headed for weekly losses of over 2%.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,768.45/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0082.

European Stock Futures Largely Lower; U.K. Retail Sales Surprise
 

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Comments (2)
Meru Pet
Meru Pet Aug 19, 2022 4:12AM ET
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this is not * this* natural gas that you should link
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Aug 19, 2022 2:36AM ET
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UK consumer sentiment is now worse than when the financial crisis hit the world. When do UK get the promised benefits of Brexit???
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Ken Roth
Ken Roth Aug 19, 2022 2:36AM ET
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Antonio Velardo  whats the difference?
Paul Oesterman
Paul Oesterman Aug 19, 2022 2:36AM ET
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Ken Roth  What a load of ****people like you talk
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Aug 19, 2022 2:36AM ET
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Paul Oesterman  guess we have a brexiteer joining the comments, maybe you can explain when the promised brexit benefits for the british people will come?
Meru Pet
Meru Pet Aug 19, 2022 2:36AM ET
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if you escape EU's communism to do your own version of communism, you are the future Yugoslavia
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Aug 19, 2022 2:36AM ET
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Paul Oesterman  Guess you could not give us an answer as to when benefits of brexit comes...too bad but not surprising.
 
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