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European Stock Futures Mostly Lower; UK November GDP Impresses

Stock MarketsJan 14, 2022 02:09AM ET
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By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are expected to open largely lower Friday with investors digesting a selloff on Wall Street, although the U.K. surprised with strong growth data.

At 2:10 AM ET (0710 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% higher, but CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.7% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.4%.

Wall Street's major indexes closed sharply lower on Thursday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite bearing the brunt of the selling, closing 2.5% lower, as hawkish comments from a number of Federal Reserve policy makers ended a three-day rally.

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard became the latest U.S. central banker, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, to state that interest rates will have to rise to combat sky-high inflation.

Asian markets largely followed suit overnight, not helped by growth in China’s exports and imports ebbing in December, a sign of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

Back in Europe, Germany, the region’s growth driver, reported Thursday another record of more than 81,000 Covid-19 infections in a day, Hungary announced plans to make a fourth Covid shot available as cases soar, and the French Senate approved the government's latest measures to tackle the virus, including a controversial vaccine pass.

Helping the tone Friday, U.K. GDP rose 0.9% on the month in November, a sharp increase from the previous month’s 0.1% rise, showing that the country’s economy was bigger than the pre-pandemic level that month.

In corporate news, Electricite de France (PA:EDF) will be in the spotlight after the energy giant issued a massive profit warning late Thursday, saying new measures by the French government to cap retail electricity prices will hit it hard in 2022.

German business software group SAP (DE:SAPG) said fourth-quarter revenue from its cloud computing business jumped 28% as more customers shifted their IT operations to its cloud business database.

Europe's third-largest insurer Assicurazioni Generali (MI:GASI) announced that director Francesco Caltagirone has resigned from the board amid a boardroom disagreement regarding the reappointment of CEO Philippe Donnet.

Oil prices have stabilized but are still on course to end the week higher for the fourth consecutive week on the back of a tight supply market and a drop in U.S. crude inventories to 2018 lows.

Still, gains are likely to be limited Friday after the U.S. Energy Department sold 18 million barrels of strategic crude oil reserves in an attempt to cool prices, while China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, re-imposed stricter measures in response to the latest Covid-19 outbreaks. 

By 2:10 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded largely flat at $82.11 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.4% to $84.73. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,826.35/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1466.


European Stock Futures Mostly Lower; UK November GDP Impresses

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