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European stock markets rise slightly in subdued trading

written by Bella Palmer
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The DAX index in Germany was up 0.2 per cent, the CAC 40 in France was up 0.4 per cent, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. traded largely flat

European stock markets rose slightly Thursday in subdued trading, with investors looking to central bank officials for more clues as to whether global interest rates have peaked.

At 08:40 GMT, the DAX index in Germany was up 0.2 per cent, the CAC 40 in France was up 0.4 per cent, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. traded largely flat.

European equities have seen limited activity Thursday, as investors try to decide whether the recent rally was based on solid ground.

Jerome Powell is set to take centre stage once more, with the Fed chair set to speak at another conference later Thursday having offered few hints on monetary policy at a seminar on Wednesday.

He is not the only major player speaking today though, with Philip Lane, the ECB’s chief economist, and BoE Chief Economist Huw Pill both set to comment at separate events.

Confidence has returned to global equity markets, largely on the optimism that the recent pausing in rate hikes by the Fed, the European Central Bank and the BoE suggests that these major central banks are more likely to ease monetary policy as a next move than tighten.

There is a dearth of economic data to digest in Europe Thursday, but the news out of China, a major export market for Europe’s largest firms, was not encouraging.

According to government data on Thursday, both consumer and producer inflation shrank in October, putting the country in disinflation territory for the second time in 2023.

The inflation data also came on the heels of disappointing trade figures for October, while figures last week had shown sustained weakness in Chinese business activity through the month.

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