June after closing out negative month
LONDON — European markets are set for a muted open on Wednesday after closing May in negative territory, as traders continue to assess new data on inflation and economic activity.
Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 9 points higher at 7,617, Germany’s DAX is set to gain around 50 points to 14,438, and France’s CAC 40 is expected to nudge around 17 points higher to 6,486.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed the month of May down 0.85%, as concerns about inflation resurfaced following red hot consumer price prints from across the euro zone.
Euro zone inflation hit an annual 8.1% in May, exceeding expectations and marking a seventh consecutive record high. Investors are closely watching the European Central Bank for hints at the pace and scale of interest rate hikes required to rein in consumer prices.
Fresh data on Wednesday will include May’s manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) readings from the euro zone and the U.K.
Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday as a private survey showed Chinese manufacturing activity contracted in May, though at a slower pace than in the previous month, as the country’s Covid-19 lockdowns continued to disrupt supply chains and soften demand.
U.S. stock futures were also cautious in early premarket trade on Wednesday, after another choppy session on Wall Street.
The Federal Reserve has already given a strong indication of its rate hike intentions at its next two policy meetings in mid-June and late July, meaning U.S. stocks could struggle for direction over the summer.
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