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Saturday, December 4, 2021
Stocks & Shares

European stocks flat, commodities tumble

European stocks

The pan-European Stoxx 600 stayed near the flatline in early trade, as insurance stocks declined 0.5% to lead losses while travel and leisure stocks gained 0.3%

Stocks in Europe were relatively flat on Friday morning, but on course to end the week in positive territory as investors digest a hawkish stance from the U.S. Fed.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 stayed near the flatline in early trade, as insurance stocks declined 0.5% to lead losses while travel and leisure stocks gained 0.3%.

Asia-Pacific shares were also mixed on Friday as investors watched for market moves in the commodities sector after a recent tumble in prices triggered by a strengthening of the U.S. dollar.

International benchmark Brent crude futures dropped 0.68% to $72.58 per barrel, adding to Thursday’s losses. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.49% to $70.69 per barrel.

In the U.S., stock futures edged up in early premarket trade Friday, but the Dow is still on course for a losing week as the Fed raised inflation expectations and moved forward its rate hike schedule. The move sent the dollar soaring.

On the data front, May’s U.K. retail sales fell 1.4% month on month, official statistics revealed Friday, falling short of the 1.6% expansion expected by economists in a Reuters poll. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said food stores contributed most prominently to the surprise decline.

The pound hit a new six-week low on the back of the dip.

Meanwhile, the German Producer Price Index (PPI) increased 1.5% month on month in May, far beyond the 0.7% consensus forecast. On an annual basis, the PPI was 7.2% against a projection of 6.4%.

In terms of individual share price movement, British car dealer Inchcape jumped more than 6% in early trade to lead the Stoxx 600 after it raised its 2021 profit outlook.

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