European stocks mixed; Jet2 soars ahead of German Ifo release

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets were mixed Thursday, as investors digested the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting ahead of a gauge of German business confidence and the account of the last ECB meeting.

At 03:40 ET (08:40 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.7% higher, CAC 40 in France gained 0.4%, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. fell 0.1%.

The minutes from the early November FOMC meeting increased the prospect of the Federal Reserve easing the pace of its aggressive interest rate hikes going forward.

Investors now largely expect the Fed to hike by 50 basis points to 4.25%-4.5% at the December policy meeting, after four consecutive increases of 75 basis points.

The European Central Bank publishes the account of its latest meeting later in the session, with the policymakers in a difficult position as Eurozone inflation has climbed above 10% while the flash November PMI readings suggested the region had entered a recession.

The German Ifo Business Climate index for November is also due later in the session, with investors looking to see the extent of confidence in the most important economy in the Eurozone.

There are also a number of ECB speakers due, including Vice President Luis de Guindos, Board member Andrea Enria and Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel.

In corporate news, Jet2 (LON:JET2) stock rose 3.7% after the leisure airline said it now expects annual pretax profit to top estimates after a surge in half-year earnings that was fuelled by solid customer demand.

Remy Cointreau (EPA:RCOP) stock fell 2.9% after the drinks company said the second half of its fiscal year would reflect a return to normal consumption trends after two years of "exceptional growth".

Kingfisher (LON:KGF) stock fell 2% after the home improvement chain lowered the top end of its guidance for full-year 2022/23 pretax profit even after reporting a slight improvement in its third-quarter like-for-like sales.

Crude oil prices fell Thursday, continuing the previous session’s selloff as traders digested the proposed price cap on Russian oil from the Group of Seven countries. 

The G7 is looking at a cap on Russian seaborne oil at $65-$70 a barrel, according to reports Wednesday, although more talks are scheduled for later Thursday as this has yet to be agreed.

The range would be higher than markets had expected, and is seen as less likely to provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin into disrupting global supply.

Elsewhere, the Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 3.7 million barrels last week, more than expected, but both gasoline and distillate inventories rose substantially.

By 03:40 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% lower at $77.61 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.6% to $84.87. Both contracts fell more than 3% last session.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,756.35/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0414.

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