European stocks mixed; central bankers in focus as earnings slow

Investing.com - European stock markets traded in a muted fashion Monday at the start of a holiday-impacted week, as the slew of quarterly corporate earnings slows down.

At 03:05 ET (08:05 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.1% lower, the FTSE 100 in the U.K. fell 0.3%, while the CAC 40 in France traded up 0.2%.

German producer prices slump

The main European equity indices posted healthy gains last week – with the German DAX the star of the show, gaining 3.7% – after data showed that inflation was coming down sharply, raising hopes that the European Central Bank was at the end of its prolonged rate-hiking cycle.

Eurozone inflation was confirmed at 2.9% on an annual basis, down from 4.3% the previous month, while the U.K. consumer price index fell to 4.6% in October from 6.7% in September. 

This trend continued Monday, with German producer prices down 11.0% in October from a year ago, continuing a downward trend after a record fall in September.

However, policy makers have been keen to push back on the idea of the ECB cutting interest rates any time soon, saying inflation still remains above target,

"It would be unwise to start cutting interest rates too soon," Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel said in a speech on Friday. "We must not loosen policy until we are absolutely certain of returning to price stability on a lasting basis."

There are a number of central bankers set to speak Monday, including Bank of France Governor de Galhau, Bank of Spain Governor de Cos and Bank of England Governor Bailey, and their comments will be parsed carefully for clues over future policy.

Ashtead slumps on profit warning 

In the corporate sector, the quarterly earnings season is gradually coming to an end in Europe.

Compass Group (LON:CPG) stock fell 5.5% after the U.K. catering company missed full-year profit expectations, citing "macroeconomic uncertainty", but still chose to lift its dividend and a further share buyback of up to $500 million.

Ashtead (LON:AHT) stock slumped 14% after the U.K. industrial equipment rental company issued a profit warning, citing a quieter hurricane season and the U.S. writers’ strike persisting longer than expected.  

In the U.S., tech major Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) reports quarterly results on Tuesday, and all eyes will be on the state of demand for its AI related products, although Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday is likely to limit trading activity.

Crude gains on output cut hopes

Oil prices rose Monday, extending recent gains following reports that a group of major producers may discuss deeper output cuts when they meet later this month. 

By 03:05 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% higher at $76.60 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.6% to $81.11 a barrel. 

Oil prices have dropped by almost 20% since late September on demand growth concerns as well as easing worries of Middle East supply disruption amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

However, crude gained 4% on Friday and continued to rise Monday after Reuters reported, citing sources, that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, is set to consider whether to make additional oil supply cuts to shore up prices when it meets on Nov. 26.

The group–mainly Saudi Arabia and Russia–have already pledged total oil output cuts of 5.16 million barrels per day, or about 5% of daily global demand, in a series of steps that started in late 2022.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,981.50/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0926.

 

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