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European markets head for flat open after inflation data hit sentiment


LONDON — European stocks are expected to open around the flatline on Thursday amid market concerns around the region’s inflation outlook.

The U.K.’s FTSE index is seen opening 6 points lower at 7,281, Germany’s DAX 2 points lower at 16,248, France’s CAC 40 down 3 points at 7,155 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 10 points lower at 27,651, according to data from IG.

The flat open for European markets comes amid investor concerns over the inflation outlook in the region; data released on Wednesday showed euro zone inflation at 4.1% year-on-year in October, more than double the European Central Bank‘s target.

In its biannual stability report published Wednesday, the ECB warned of stretched valuations in property and financial markets, as the region continues to recover from the Covid pandemic on the back of ultra-low interest rates and massive stimulus measures.

Meanwhile, U.K. consumer price index (CPI) came in at 4.2% in the 12 months to October — its highest in almost a decade as energy and automotive costs soared. The data is expected to add pressure on the Bank of England to act on interest rates at its December meeting.

U.S. stock futures were flat in overnight trading after the major averages pulled back on Wednesday. Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Thursday, following the overnight losses on Wall Street, and as shares in Japan, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland struggled for gains.

Global markets will be keeping an eye on the latest economic data out of the U.S. on Thursday as the Labor Department will report last week’s jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting initial filings for unemployment insurance fell to 260,000 for the week ending Nov. 13, from the previous week’s 267,000 claims.

On the data front in Europe, new car registrations for October are due from Germany, the U.K. and France on Thursday. Earnings come from Thyssenkrupp, Royal Mail and the National Grid.

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— CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald contributed to this market report.

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