Futures contracts on mixed European equities; UK GDP Data, US Inflation and Ukraine War at a Glance By Investing.com

© Reuters

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – European stock markets are expected to open slightly higher on Friday, rebounding from steep losses in the previous session. At the same time, investors are equating soaring US inflation, UK growth data and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

As of 02:00 ET (0700 GMT), the Germany contract was trading up 0.1%, France up 0.6%, while the UK contract was up 0.9 %.

European stocks closed sharply lower on Thursday, the and both falling nearly 3%, after talks between the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine, aided in Turkey, failed to reach a conclusion. bring about a ceasefire between the two countries.

Markets have been rocked over the past two weeks as Western countries have imposed a number of sanctions on Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine, moves that have seen commodity prices, and oil in particular, to climb to record highs.

More action is expected on Friday after Reuters reported that the United States, European Union and other allies were preparing to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status. This would then allow the imposition of tariffs on a wide range of Russian products, which would further harm the country’s economy.

Data from the UK showed growth of 0.8% in January on Friday, a stronger-than-expected rebound after a 0.2% contraction in December.

Financial markets expect the Bank of England to hike rates by 0.5% to their pre-pandemic level of 0.75% next week amid mounting price pressures, and this rebound will largely cement these expectations.

These inflationary pressures played out in the United States on Thursday, with a jump of 7.9% at an annualized rate in February, the largest increase in 40 years.

The also meets next week and is widely expected to raise its target federal funds rate by 25 basis points, especially following the hawkish tone of the , which said on Thursday it would stop buying bonds in the third quarter. if inflation doesn’t fall.

In company news, Swiss credit (SIX:) could be in the spotlight on Friday, after Switzerland’s second-largest bank on Thursday set new targets to nearly halve its exposure to oil, gas and coal emissions financing by the end of 2030.

Oil prices stabilized on Friday but still looked set for the biggest weekly decline since November, amid uncertainty over global output levels in a week marked by talk of potential supply additions, mostly in from the United Arab Emirates, as well as additional sanctions against Russia.

As of 2 a.m. ET, futures were trading up 1.2% at $107.33 a barrel, heading for a weekly decline of about 8% after hitting a high of $130.50, while the contract rose 1.4% to $110.94, forecast for a weekly decline of around 7% after hitting a 14-year high of $139.13.

Additionally, it fell 0.5% to $1,991.25 an ounce as it traded 0.2% higher at 1.1004.

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