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European Stocks Lower; Daimler Truck Makes Frankfurt Debut

Published 12/10/2021, 03:37 AM
Updated 12/10/2021, 03:38 AM
© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets edged lower Friday, handing back some of the week’s strong gains as investors assess the impact of the Omicron Covid variant and disappointing U.K. GDP numbers ahead of the release of key U.S. inflation data.

At 3:40 AM ET (0840 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.4% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.5% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.2%. 

U.K. growth data, released earlier Friday, showed the country’s economy barely grew in October, even before the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant. 

Gross domestic product edged up by just 0.1%, below the expected 0.4% rise, slowing sharply from monthly growth of 0.6% in September. This meant the economy remained 0.5% smaller than in February 2020, just before the first Covid-19 lockdown, and further gains are likely to be hard won given the new restrictions in place to combat the virus. The numbers did little to change the market's belief that the spread of Omicron in the last two weeks will push back the Bank of England's rate hike until the new year.

The main European indices, in conjunction with most global stock markets, have posted gains this week helped by studies suggesting the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus results in less severe reactions in patients than previous versions.

In corporate news, Daimler (OTC:DDAIF) Truck stock traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Friday for the first time, at 28 euros per share, after the spinoff of the commercial vehicle maker. Daimler (DE:DAIGn), which will be renamed Mercedes-Benz, has kept 35% of Daimler Truck shares. Daimler's own stock traded down 17% as the unit was stripped out of the parent company's balance sheet.

Investors are likely to keep their powder dry before the release of important U.S. inflation data at 8:30 AM ET, where a strong reading will strengthen the case for a policy tightening decision at the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week.

Economists are calling for consumer prices to rise 0.7% on the month in November, an annual gain of 6.8%, which would be the highest year-on-year figure since 1982.

Oil prices edged lower Friday, but are still on course for their biggest weekly gain since late August on easing fears the Omicron variant will lead to a significant hit to global crude demand.

By 3:40 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded flat at $70.90 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.4% to $74.28. Both benchmarks are on course to rise more than 6% this week, their first weekly gain in seven weeks.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,772.59/oz, while EUR/USD edged lower to 1.1288.


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