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Title: European Stock Futures Higher; Eurozone CPI Data in Focus

Aug 31, 2022 02:00AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

European stock markets are expected to open higher on Wednesday, as investors take a look at the latest data on manufacturing activity in China ahead of the release of key eurozone inflation data.

At 02:00 GMT, the DAX futures contract in Germany was trading 0.7% higher, the CAC 40 futures contract in France was up 0.4%, and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the UK was up 0.3%.

Manufacturing activity in China contracted for the second consecutive month in August as the COVID-19 lockout and the looming power supply crisis continued to weigh on economic activity.

The official Purchasing Managers' Index for industry reached 49.4 points in August. While this index was below 50 points, indicating a contraction in the sector, it was still better than the 49.0 points in July and also better than the 49.2 points expected, indicating a slight improvement in conditions from the previous month.

This is likely to lead to a positive start to the day in Europe, although all eyes are likely to be on the release of the latest Eurozone Consumer Price Index. It is expected to show that European inflation reached a record 9% in August, which will put further pressure on the European Central Bank to aggressively raise interest rates next month.

Natural gas prices in Europe have fallen from record highs, but this may still be a temporary measure as Russia has stopped the flow of gas via Nord Stream to Germany for the second time in as many months.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, recovering from big losses in the previous session on signs of robust fuel demand in the US, the world's biggest consumer.

As of 02:00 GMT, US crude futures were trading 0.9% higher at $92.45 a barrel, while the Brent contract was up 0.9% at $98.73. Both benchmarks fell about 5% on Tuesday, the steepest drop in about a month.

In addition, gold futures fell to $1,735.90/oz and the EUR/USD exchange rate traded 0.2% higher to 1.0034.

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