European markets cautious, tracking sentiment elsewhere
LONDON — European stocks were mixed on Wednesday, as global markets remained cautious with investors monitoring Covid-19 developments and key economic data.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered just above the flatline in early trade, with health care stocks adding 0.4% while travel and leisure fell 0.8%.
Shares in Asia-Pacific were also mixed with most major markets eking out modest gains. Stateside, U.S. stock futures were mostly flat in early premarket trade on Wednesday, pointing to a similarly muted open on Wall Street.
The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs on Tuesday following the U.S. Senate’s passing of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which earmarks $550 billion in new spending for areas including transportation and the electric grid.
The Senate’s infrastructure plan is expected to help give the economy a boost as peak growth slows following the reopening from the pandemic.
International investors will be keeping an eye on U.S. data releases on Wednesday with July’s Consumer price Index reading set to be released.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the index to have risen 0.5% last month, or 5.3% year over year. In June prices jumped 0.9%, which was the biggest monthly increase since August 2008. The data could influence the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision-making over interest rates.
Back in Europe, German non-harmonized CPI inflation came in at 3.8% year on year and 0.9% month on month in July, the Federal Statistics Office confirmed Wednesday. Harmonized inflation was 3.1% and 0.5%, respectively.
Earnings in focus
Earnings releases in Europe came from E.On, Thyssenkrupp, Uniper, ABN AMRO, Prudential, Deliveroo and Admiral Group.
ABN AMRO shares climbed 3.4% to lead the Stoxx 600 in early trade after swinging back to a second-quarter profit of 393 million euros ($460.32 million), beating analyst expectations. The Dutch bank also announced plans to resume dividend payments.
At the bottom of the index, Thyssenkrupp fell more than 6% after posting a 266 million euro quarterly profit, but warned that its steel division was lagging.
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— CNBC’s Weizhen Tan and Pippa Stevens contributed to this report.