European stocks rise but FTSE flat ahead of US inflation data

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2016 file photo the bull statue stands in front of the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany. The European Union blocked the proposed merger of Germany's Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 saying that it had

A bull statue stands in front of the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: AP Photo/Michael Probst

European markets opened higher on Tuesday but the FTSE 100 lagged behind.

The CAC 40 (^FCHI) in Paris and the DAX (^GDAXI) in Frankfurt were both up 0.2% shortly after the open. Spain’s IBEX (^IBEX) was up 0.1% and the Italian FTSE MIB (FTSEMIB.MI) was 0.2% higher.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) underperformed in London, opening flat. The more domestic-focused FTSE 250 (^FTMC) performed better, rising 0.6% at the open.

Britain showed the early-stages of an economic recovery from the second wave of COVID-19 are already underway. UK GDP expanded by 0.4% in February, official data showed.

US futures were quiet ahead of inflation data later today. S&P 500 futures (ES=F) and Dow Jones futures (YM=F) were flat, while Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were down 0.1%.

Inflation figures are due at 1.30pm London time and expected to show prices growing at an annual rate of 2.5%. Jim Reid, a macro strategist at Deutsche Bank, said US inflation data will be “the big highlight” in the market today.

“[Inflation] has emerged as a key focal point for markets given the debates surrounding inflation and its implications for monetary policy moving forward,” Reid and his team wrote in a morning note. “Indeed, part of the reason that markets have brought forward their expectations for Fed rate hikes is based around rising inflation expectations that they think the Fed might have to rein in.”

Markets were broadly positive in Asia overnight. Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) rallied 0.7%, South Korea’s KOSPI (^KS11) rallied 1.1% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) climbed half a percent. China’s Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) dropped 0.6%.

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