By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open higher Friday, ending a volatile week on a positive note as investors continue to assess persistent inflation, aggressive monetary tightening, and the associated impact on global economic growth.
At 2 AM ET (0600 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 1% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 1% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.9%.
European equities have suffered a rollercoaster week, following the lead from Wall Street as investors reacted to the possibility earlier in the week that headline U.S. consumer prices may have peaked but also a warning from Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell that there could still be economic pain from getting it under control.
“So a soft landing is, is really just getting back to 2% inflation while keeping the labor market strong. And it’s quite challenging to accomplish that right now,” Powell said Thursday in an interview.
This followed the release earlier in the week of data showing U.S. consumer prices rose 8.3% for the 12 months to April, slower than the 8.5% pace of a month earlier.
Potential weakness in the U.S. economy, the world’s economic driver, adds to the deteriorating global picture, as the war in Ukraine threatens stagflation in Europe and ongoing COVID lockdowns in China weigh on growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
April inflation data from both France and Spain will be studied carefully later Friday with investors looking for evidence that price rises in Europe are slowing, while industrial production numbers for March in the Eurozone are expected to show signs of a slowdown.
In the corporate sector, Deutsche Telekom (ETR:DTEGn) will be in focus Friday after the telecommunications giant reported strong quarterly figures, lifting its full-year outlook, boosted by its U.S. unit, T-Mobile, along with growth in its European business.
On the flip side, Norwegian Air (OL:NAS) posted a loss for the first quarter, adding that rising fuel costs will partly offset the positive effects of increased bookings for the summer season.
Oil prices rose Friday, but still looked set to register their first weekly loss in three as concerns about faltering global demand seemingly outweighed the prospect of a European Union ban on Russian oil tightening supply.
By 2:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% higher at $107.55 a barrel, on course to fall around 2% this week, while the Brent contract rose 1.6% to $109.13, set to drop nearly 3% this week.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,826.36/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0402.