European Shares Set For Steady Open Ahead Of Data Deluge

(RTTNews) - European stocks may open slightly higher on Thursday as investors await the release of key inflation readings in both Europe and the U.S.

German, Spanish and French inflation data are due later in the day ahead of Friday's release of the latest euro area inflation data for February.

Retail sales and unemployment data from Germany and mortgage approval figures from the U.K. are also due.

Across the Atlantic, personal consumption expenditures price index data, the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation for January, will be in the spotlight along with other reports on weekly jobless claims and pending home sales.

The annual rate of consumer price growth is expected to slow to 2.4 percent in January from 2.6 percent in December.

The annual rate of growth by core consumer prices is also expected to dip to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent in December.

Asian stocks traded mixed, with Chinese and Hong Kong markets rising in anticipation of stimulus ahead of the upcoming annual session of the National People's Congress.

Investors also cheered an announcement by the securities regulator that it would tighten scrutiny of derivative businesses in the stock market.

The dollar was firm, and gold held steady after three more Federal Reserve officials said the pace of interest-rate cuts will depend on incoming economic data.

Boston Fed Bank President Susan Collins and Atlanta Fed chief Raphael Bostic both urged patience in regard to policy tweaks.

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said there is still some distance to cover in achieving the 2 percent inflation target.

Crude prices were little changed in Asian trading after settling lower overnight on data showing a larger than expected increase in U.S. crude inventories.

U.S. stocks ended lower overnight as revised data showed the U.S. economy grew by slightly less than previously estimated in the fourth quarter of 2023, raising optimism the Fed can cut rates sooner.

The Dow finished marginally lower to extend losses for the third consecutive session while the S&P 500 eased 0.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.6 percent.

European stocks ended mixed on Wednesday ahead of key U.S., Eurozone and Chinese economic data due this week.

The pan European STOXX 600 dropped 0.4 percent as a measure of Eurozone economic sentiment deteriorated to a three-month low.

The German DAX rose 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 inched up marginally while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 slipped 0.8 percent.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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