Apr 27, 2022 01:57AM ET
European stock markets are expected to open mostly weaker on Wednesday as investors process rising geopolitical tensions, a gloomy global growth outlook and corporate quarterly results.
At 2:05 AM ET, the DAX futures contract in Germany was trading 0.2% lower, the CAC 40 futures contract in France was trading 0.1% lower, and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. was largely unchanged.
European stock indexes have been under pressure so far this week, with the DAX closing down 1.2% on Tuesday on fears that China's insistence on strict COVID restrictions will hurt domestic and global growth.
This follows news that the outbreak in Shanghai, now in its fourth week, has spread to other major Chinese cities, including the capital, Beijing.
Fears that growth in the world's second-largest economy could slow coincided with an aggressive policy shift by the Federal Reserve to combat rising inflation in the U.S. by aggressively raising interest rates.
Back in Europe, tensions over the Russia-Ukraine conflict intensified after Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom told Poland and Bulgaria it would cut off gas supplies starting Wednesday.
Most Western countries are unwilling to comply with Russia's demand to pay for its gas in rubles as sanctions take effect over the invasion of Ukraine.
This escalation of the dispute between Russia and the West led to a surge in oil prices on Wednesday, adding to gains made in the previous session.
At 2:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures were trading 0.2% higher at $101.91 per barrel, while the Brent contract was up 0.4% at $105.03. Both benchmarks had gained about 3% on Tuesday.
Today is an important day for corporate earnings in Europe, with the banking sector once again in the spotlight.
Deutsche Bank reported a 17% rise in first-quarter profit, ahead of expectations, as the German lender reported strong investment banking earnings despite an uncertain outlook due to the war in Ukraine.