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Title: European Stock Futures Largely Flat; Oil Prices Slump on Reserves Release Talk

Mar 31, 2022 01:58AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

European stock markets are expected to open essentially unchanged on Thursday at the end of a tumultuous month as investors keep a close eye on developments in the Ukraine-Russia conflict and volatile energy prices.

At 10:00 PM ET, the DAX futures contract in Germany was 0.1% higher, but the CAC 40 futures contract in France was 0.2% lower, and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the UK was 0.1% lower.

European stock markets closed mostly weaker on Wednesday on disappointment that there was no major breakthrough in negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to end the war triggered by Russia's invasion in late February.

Ukrainian forces are now preparing for new attacks in the east of the country as Moscow reinforces its troops there after suffering setbacks near the capital Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday.

In addition, the United States plans to increase economic pressure on Moscow in the coming days by expanding sanctions against Russia, White House spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said late Wednesday night.

European stocks have had a very difficult quarter, with the DAX down more than 8% so far this year and the CAC 40 and the broader Stoxx 600 down nearly 6%, as the war in Ukraine has pushed up commodity prices and heightened fears of stagflation.

In Europe, the UK GDP rose 1.3% in the fourth quarter and 6.6% year-on-year, while German retail sales rose 0.3% month-on-month in February.

European economic data also includes French and Italian consumer inflation and unemployment figures for Germany and the euro area.

Incorporate news, Sanofi is likely to be in focus after the French healthcare group issued its first €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) sustainability-linked bond, which is tied to access to medicine.

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