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European Stock Futures Lower; Gas Prices, Economic Concerns Rise

Published 08/23/2022, 01:55 AM
Updated 08/23/2022, 01:56 AM
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By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open lower Tuesday, continuing the previous session’s sharp selloff as investors fret that red-hot inflation, soaring gas prices, and tightening monetary policies will result in a regional recession.

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

The main European indices closed sharply lower on Monday, with the DAX falling 2.3% and the CAC 40 dropping 1.8%, as bad news in the region continued to mount, prompting the single currency to fall to a new two-decade low.

Inflation is nearing double digits, the European Central Bank has started a tightening cycle and a winter with looming energy shortages is fast approaching.

Worryingly, this outlook is still likely to get worse before any significant improvement well into 2023.

Benchmark gas prices in the European Union soared once more overnight as damage to a key pipeline system running oil from Kazakhstan through Russia and into Europe disrupted supply. 

This comes ahead of Russian energy giant Gazprom halting supply through the key Nord Stream pipeline at the end of the month for unscheduled maintenance works.

The Bundesbank said in its monthly report on Monday that a recession in Germany, the Eurozone’s biggest economy, is increasingly likely.

"Declining economic output in the winter months has become much more likely," the central bank said. "The high degree of uncertainty over gas supplies this winter and the sharp price increases are likely to weigh heavily on households and companies."

With this in mind, Eurozone flash PMIs will be watched closely later this session, amid expectations the August numbers will show another month of business contraction after the final composite PMI index slumped to a 17-month low in July.

Investors will also be eagerly awaiting Fed Chairman Jay Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday for possible answers about how high U.S. interest rates may go and how long they will need to stay at elevated levels, potentially hitting the world’s largest economy and key growth driver hard.

Oil prices rose Tuesday after Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said late Monday that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries stands ready to reduce production to correct the recent oil price fall, stating that the futures market has ignored extremely tight physical crude supply.

The cartel has reversed all of the output cuts made during the pandemic, during a period of extreme volatility since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted the usual flows.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% higher at $91.03 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.7% to $97.17. Both benchmarks are down around 5% over the last month, having both traded over $100 a barrel.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,749.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 0.9918.

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