By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets are expected to open in a mixed fashion Friday with an economic data deluge set to offer more clues about the extent of the regional slowdown.
At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.1%, while the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.1%.
The month-long risky-asset rally in the wake of the stabilization of the banking system seems to be running out of steam as economic numbers point to a global economic falloff.
In the U.S., data released Thursday showed that continuing unemployment benefit claims jumped to the highest level since November 2021, pointing to a softening labor market.
Back in Europe, British retail sales fell 0.9% on the month in March, an annual drop of 3.1%, as consumers struggled with discretionary spending given the sparing inflation.
Later in the session, U.K. and euro zone manufacturing surveys are due for release and are expected to show the sector remains in contraction territory.
European and British services PMIs are seen staying in expansion mode, but this could add to inflationary pressures, prompting both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to take interest rates higher next month.
On the corporate side, SAP (ETR:SAPG) reported first-quarter revenue growth of 10% on Friday, beating expectations, with the business software maker’s results boosted by its cloud business.
Holcim (SIX:HOLN), the world’s biggest cement maker, raised its full-year guidance after beating forecasts for the first quarter.
Additionally, the banking sector will be in focus after the Financial Times reported that Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) bondholders have filed a lawsuit against Switzerland’s banking regulator after the takeover by Swiss pier UBS (SIX:UBSG).
Oil prices edged lower Friday, on course for a hefty weekly loss on rising concerns the U.S. economy, the largest consumer of crude in the world, will fall into recession as the year progresses.
U.S. crude oil inventories fell more than forecast last week, Energy Information Administration data showed earlier this week, but gasoline stockpiles jumped unexpectedly on disappointing demand.
By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.3% lower at $77.19 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.2% to $80.97.
Both benchmarks slid by more than 2% to their lowest level since late March on Thursday, and are on track for a weekly drop of about 6%.
Additionally, gold futures fell 0.7% to $2,006.05/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0960.