European shares bounce back ahead of next batch of economic data

European shares bounced back at the opening on Monday after Friday’s downturn, as investors wait to assess the latest batch of economic data and the next moves of key central banks.

The region-wide Stoxx 600 was up 0.95 per cent. Germany’s Dax and the French Cac 40 rose 1.1 per cent, while London’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.8 per cent.

EU economic and consumer confidence data as well as US durable goods and home sales will be released at 10am and 1.30pm UK time respectively, followed by US ISM manufacturing and European flash consumer price index figures later in the week.

This month has proved an uncertain time for traders, as the persistent threat of inflation forced them to price in further central bank interest rate rises. On Monday market-watchers will be listening out for extra insight into the banks’ thinking in speeches from Federal Reserve board member Philip Jefferson, as well as European Central Bank executive board member Philip Lane.

“We had a big sell-off last week, so it’s not unusual to see bounces of this magnitude as the market tries to understand the data we’ve seen so far,” said Neil Shearing, group chief economist at Capital Economics. “I suspect that the ECB has been quite clear that it has more work to do, but for the Federal Reserve the key questions are how far rates have to be increased, and how long will they keep them there.”

Markets last week reacted swiftly and decisively to better than expected economic data, after core monthly personal consumption expenditure — the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation — rose above expectations in January. Prices increased 0.6 per cent month on month, and 4.7 per cent year on year, the latter substantially more than the average forecasts of a 4.3 per cent rise.

US stocks on Friday recorded their biggest weekly fall in more than two months.

Futures contracts tracking the blue-chip S&P 500 rose 0.4 per cent on Monday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq equivalents gained 0.5 per cent.

US 10-year Treasury yields fell 0.15 percentage points to 3.93 per cent, while two-year contracts, which are more sensitive to monetary policy, climbed 0.01 percentage points to 4.81 per cent. “January was the best January for the Global Bond Aggregate index this century whereas February so far is on course to be the worst February over the same period,” said analysts at Deutsche Bank.

Yields on 10-year German Bunds were flat at 2.53 per cent.

The euro was up 0.1 per cent, and the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six peer currencies, was down 0.1 per cent. Sterling rose 0.2 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.3 per cent, while China’s CSI 300 lost 0.4 per cent.

Brent crude was up 0.2 per cent, while WTI, the US equivalent, fell 0.2 per cent to $76.50.

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