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European Stock Futures Edge Higher; Renault in Spotlight By


© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse – European stock markets are expected to open marginally higher Friday, with Renault (PA:) in the spotlight, but concerns surrounding China, one of the world’s main growth drivers, remain.

At 2:05 AM ET (0605 GMT), the contract in Germany traded 0.1% higher, in France climbed 0.5% and the contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%.

French car giant Renault will be in focus Friday, helping the outperform, after it announced late Thursday that it would cut up to 2,000 engineering and support jobs in France as it shifts into electric cars and hires in different positions.

S4 Capital is an advertising agency that reports on half-year earnings. Primark, owned by Associated British Foods, (OTC:), issues a trading update.

Elsewhere, U.K. surprisingly fell 0.9% on the month in August, a far weaker result than the gain of 0.5% expected, with consumers spending less at food stores and more on hospitality, services and motor fuel as the economy reopened.

The August for the Eurozone is due later in the session, with the number expected to rise to 3.0% on an annual basis, a sharp rise from July’s 2.2%, and a full percentage point above the central bank’s target.

According to the Financial Times, Philip Lane, chief economist at the ECB revealed that it does not expect to reach its 2% inflation target by 2025. This forecast implies that there will be a long delay before the first rate increase.

Chinese data this week indicated that growth in China’s second largest economy would slow in the second quarter of 2018. This is happening while Beijing tightens its oversight on different sectors. These factors could also impact growth.

Adding to the concerns, the risk of markets turning disorderly in China grew as real estate giant China Evergrande Group (HK:) lurched closer to default, its stock falling 10% in the process.

The People’s Bank of China responded by injecting 90 billion yuan ($13.9 billion) of funds into the banking system in an attempt to soothe market nerves, the first time this month that more than 10 billion yuan of short-term liquidity had been added in a day.

The recovery of oil supply from the Gulf of Mexico hurricane region has slowly brought down crude prices, although the gains are still small.

On Thursday, 28% of Gulf crude output – more than 510,000 barrels per hour – was still offline after Hurricane Ida.

By 2:05 AM ET, futures traded 0.3% lower at $72.36 a barrel, while the contract fell 0.3% to $75.41. Weekly gains are expected to be around 4% for both contracts.

Additionally, rose 0.4% to $1,763.85/oz, while traded 0.1% higher at 1.1773.


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