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European stock futures lower as recession fears rise

Published 01/19/2023, 02:01 AM
Updated 01/19/2023, 02:03 AM
© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are expected to open lower Thursday, taking their lead from the overnight selloff on Wall Street as weak economic data raised fears about a recession this year.

At 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.5% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.4% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.4%.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over 600 points, or 1.8%, lower on Wednesday, after the release of weak U.S. production, retail sales and producer price data showed the U.S. economy, the main global driver, was contracting. 

Investors have pushed stocks higher recently on the hope that the Federal Reserve, as well as the European Central Bank, won't have to be as aggressive with interest rates as it was last year as inflation has cooled.

However, it appears that these rate increases have already had a significant impact on growth in the world’s largest economy.

There’s little in the way of European economic data due for release Thursday, but the ECB publishes the account of its last policy-setting meeting and President Chistine Lagarde is due to speak later in the session. 

Both events will be studied carefully for clues of potential future interest rate moves by the central bank.

In corporate news, Lufthansa (ETR:LHAG) is likely to be in the spotlight after the German airline offered to buy an initial minority stake in ITA, Italy's state-owned successor to Alitalia.

This move has sparked talk of further potential sector consolidation as the industry seeks to recover from the damage caused by the pandemic.

Oil prices fell Thursday as weak U.S. economic data and an industry report showing a surprise jump in U.S. crude stocks raised demand concerns over the largest economy in the world.

Data released Wednesday showed a sharp decline in U.S. retail sales and manufacturing output raising fears of a recession this year.

Additionally, the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. oil inventories grew a hefty 7.6 million barrels last week. This would be the second consecutive week of large inventory increases if confirmed by the official numbers from the Energy Information Administration later this session.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.1% lower at $78.89 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.9% to $84.23. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded just higher at 1.0796.

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