European Shares Poised For Soft Open In Cautious Trade

European stocks may open on a sluggish note Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his hawkish stance on the second day of his congressional testimony, adding no call has been made yet on the size of March rate rise.

Asian markets traded mixed as investors looked ahead to the release of weekly jobless claims figures later in the day, Friday’s jobs data and inflation figures due next week for additional clues on the U.S. rate outlook.

Economists expect U.S. employment to jump by 203,000 jobs in February after an increase of 517,000 jobs in January. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.4 percent.

Powell’s hawkish testimony kept the dollar elevated near a three-month high, while oil and gold prices were little changed in Asian trade.

China’s consumer price inflation fell to its lowest level in a year last month and producer inflation deepened as disruptions in the manufacturing sector persisted, official data showed earlier today.

Separate data showed Japan’s economy narrowly avoided a recession in the final months of 2022.

Payroll employment from France is the only major economic report due today, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

U.S. stocks fluctuated before ending mixed overnight as movements in bond markets signaled an impending recession and the Fed’s “Beige Book” survey of economic conditions noted inflationary pressures remained widespread.

Data showed private payrolls increased more than expected in February and job openings fell less than expected in January, pointing to a tight labor market.

The Dow slipped 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 edged up 0.1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 percent.

European stocks ended Wednesday’s session mostly higher despite bets on further rate hikes from the ECB and Federal Reserve.

The pan European STOXX 600 closed flat with a positive bias. The German DAX rose half a percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent while France’s CAC 40 index slipped 0.2 percent.

Source: Read Full Article