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Title: European Stock Futures Mixed; Ukraine Peace Talks, Russian Gas in Focus

Apr 01, 2022 02:03AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

European stock markets are expected to open cautiously on Friday. Investors are watching the new negotiations to end the war in Ukraine, the dispute between Moscow and European countries over the payment of Russian gas, and the main eurozone inflation data.

At 2:05 AM ET, DAX futures in Germany were trading 0.2% higher, while CAC 40 futures in France were down 0.2% and FTSE 100 futures in the UK were down 0.2%.

The new month began with a setback for European stock markets after they suffered their biggest quarterly loss since early 2020, as the Russia-Ukraine war and the related rise in commodity prices fuelled concerns of a new recession in the region.

Peace talks are due to resume by video conference on Friday, but little has come of the talks so far, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Thursday of "imminent fighting" in the Donbas and the besieged southern port city of Mariupol.

In an attempt to respond to sweeping Western sanctions over his incursion into Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that foreign buyers of Russian gas must pay in roubles or contracts will be suspended.

Western governments have rejected the move on the grounds that existing contracts are denominated in euros or dollars, but Russia supplies about a third of Europe's gas, so lifting it would likely lead to a full-blown energy crisis.

European economic data will also include manufacturing purchasing managers' index figures for Germany, the region's manufacturing hub, after the Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers' index for China fell to 48.1, the biggest drop since February 2020.

However, most eyes will be on the release of Eurozone consumer prices for March, which is expected to show another sharp 6.6% year-on-year increase, and US labor market data for March later in the session.

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