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European Stocks Higher; BT Group Struggles Over Investment Worries -Breaking


© Reuters.

Peter Nurse reports that European stock market prices edged up Thursday. However, investors were cautious as minutes of the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting indicated further tightening.

By 3:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the in Germany traded 0.6% higher, the in France rose 0.7%, and the U.K.’s climbed 0.2%.

The from the Fed’s May 3-4 meeting, released on Wednesday, showed that all policymakers supported the central bank’s rate increase of 50 basis points, the first of that size in more than 20 years, and most felt that of that size would “likely be appropriate” in June and July.

Minutes also suggested that there might be a temporary halt in rate increases after July and June increases. This was something Raphael Bostic, Atlanta Federal Reserve President, had earlier suggested in the week.

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Yet, Europe is still feeling fragile due to persistent worries about global growth. Several central banks have been trying to counter the rising inflation that has been aggravated by the current war in Ukraine. They are tightening their money policy.

The European Central Bank president stated this week that the ECB’s negative deposit rate should rise in July. It could then be zero or slightly above by September, before increasing further to “towards neutral rates”.

Thursday’s main economic data comes from the U.S. with weekly and quarterly data likely to be examined for indications that the U.S. is cooling.

Corporate news: BT Group (LON 🙂 shares fell 4% following the U.K. Telecoms Group. The government will examine the Altice investment made in the company by Patrick Drahi, a French businessman.

HSBC (LON) shares fell 0.5% on Bloomberg reports that the U.K.-based Bank is looking at an initial public offering for its Indonesian businesses.

Tech sector also under scrutiny after Nvidia, the U.S. chip manufacturer (NASDAQ:), predicted Wednesday night that sales of its videogame chips would drop in the current quarter. This was due to supply-chain problems arising from China’s COVID-19 locksdowns.

Oil prices rose on Thursday due to a larger-than-expected drawdown last week of 1 million barrels. It is an indication of tight global markets.

Markets remain focused on whether Russia can be embargoed on Russian oil as a retaliation to the invasion of Ukraine. 

Charles Michel, president of European Council on Wednesday stated that he believes unanimous agreement will be achieved before May 30th’s council meeting. But Hungary continues to be a hurdle.

Futures were trading 0.9% higher at $111.28 per barrel by 3:55 AM ET while contract prices rose 0.6% to $111.78 

Also, the price was unchanged at $1.846.03/oz and traded 0.1% higher, at 1.0687.