European stock futures mixed; U.K. economy contracted in May

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European stock futures mixed; U.K. economy contracted in May © Reuters. – European stock markets are expected to open in a mixed fashion, as investors digest the softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data as well as weak U.K. growth data.

At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the contract in Germany traded 0.1% lower, while in France climbed 0.2% and the contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%.

The main European stock indices posted healthy gains Wednesday, with the , and all closing well over 1% higher, after soft U.S. consumer inflation data raised hopes that July’s expected interest rate increase by the could be the last in this tightening cycle.

U.K. data deluge

There was a deluge of economic data releases from the U.K. earlier Thursday, with , and having contracted in May from the previous month.

The has authorized 13 consecutive interest rate rises as it attempts to tame the highest inflation rate in the G7, and with more hikes likely these numbers suggest Britain is heading for a recession.

Additionally, the European Central Bank releases its June policy , while numbers and are also due.

Chinese trade data disappoints 

The news out of China earlier Thursday wasn’t positive either, as data showed that the Asian giant’s shrank 12.4% on an annual basis in June, at their worst pace since March 2020, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

also fell 6.8% in June, falling at their fastest pace since March this year, and a much deeper contraction than the 4.5% seen in May. 

These numbers show how badly China’s reopened economy is stuttering, to the detriment of many of Europe’s major exporting companies.

Barry Callebaut reports a drop in sales

Barry Callebaut (SIX:) will be in the spotlight Thursday, after the world’s biggest chocolate maker reported lower nine-month sales volumes than a year ago as customer demand dropped in an inflationary environment.

Oil edges higher; Chinese crude imports jumped in June

Oil prices rose slightly Thursday, hovering near three-month highs on the back of the softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data and strong Chinese monthly oil imports.

China’s crude imports in June rose over 45% on the year, hitting its second-highest monthly figure on record, customs data released on Thursday showed, raising hope of a recovery at the world’s second-largest economy and biggest crude importer. 

However, gains have been limited by an unexpected build in U.S. oil inventories, with the indicating that stocks grew 5.95 million barrels in the week to July 7, much more than forecast.

By 02:00 ET, the futures traded 0.3% higher at $75.94 a barrel, while the contract climbed 0.3% to $80.34. 

Additionally, rose 0.1% to $1,963.15/oz, while traded 0.1% higher at 1.1138.

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