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European stocks retreat, continuing global selloff; Currys slumps

Published 2024-03-11, 04:16 a/m
© Reuters.
- - European stock markets fell Monday, continuing the losses seen in Asia overnight after Friday's weakness on Wall Street, ahead of the release of key U.S. inflation data.

At 03:10 ET (08:10 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.7% lower, the CAC 40 in France traded 0.4% lower and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. dropped 0.2%.

Global sentiment hit hard

European equities have continued the global selloff at the start of the new week, with regional markets tracking a sharp decline in Wall Street on Friday, as growing uncertainty over U.S. interest rates saw traders lock-in profits at record highs, especially in the technology sector. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped over 2% as an upward revision in the country’s GDP showed that the economy avoided a recession in the  fourth quarter, providing the Bank of Japan with more headroom to potentially begin raising interest rates when it meets next week. 

There’s little in the way of significant economic data in Europe Monday, and thus investors are likely to be cautious ahead of Tuesday's U.S. inflation data as they try to gauge how soon the Fed could start cutting interest rates.

On Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said it would likely be appropriate to cut rates “at some point this year,” but made it clear that the central bank was still looking for confirmation that inflation had been truly tamed.

Back in Europe, the European Central Bank cut its projections for growth and inflation last week, with President Christine Lagarde pointing towards June as a possible start to a rate-cutting cycle, saying the central bank would then have "a lot" of the information it needs for such a decision.

Currys slumps as Elliott withdraws interest

The fourth-quarter corporate earnings season is ending, but there are still some companies in the spotlight.

Currys (LON:CURY) stock fell after 10% after U.S. investor Elliott Advisors said on Monday it does not intend to make an offer for the British electronics retailer.

Currys had rejected a second indicative bid from Elliott last month, while China-based online giant JD (NASDAQ:JD) has also said it is considering an offer.

HelloFresh (OTC:HLFFF) will also be in focus after the meal kit giant plunged over 40% on Friday after it said it expected lower earnings in 2024.

Crude lower on demand concerns

Oil prices stabilized Monday after the previous week's sharp losses, with the markets on edge over slowing demand, particularly from China, the world’s largest importer of crude.

By 03:10 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% lower at $77.97 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.1% to $82.15 a barrel. 

Data released last week showed that China's imports of crude oil rose in the first two months of the year compared with the same period in 2023, but they were weaker than the preceding months.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $2,188.45/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0939.


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