European Shares May Open Steady Despite Rate Hike Fears

European stocks may open flat to slightly higher on Thursday after some economists held out hope that U.S. inflation might be reaching or nearing a short-term peak.

Asian markets were seeing modest gains despite a record-setting U.S. inflation report pointing to more possible interest rate hikes.

Economists at the Japanese financial firm Nomura issued a note saying they expected a 100-basis point rise when the Federal Reserve meets July 26-27.

The dollar resumed its relentless rise amid heightened recession fears. Gold dipped on dollar strength while oil prices rose slightly, with Brent breaking above $100 a barrel amid signs of tight supplies.

The EU macroeconomic forecast is due later in the day, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, data on producer price inflation is likely to attract attention along with the latest weekly jobless claims report.

On the earnings front, financial giants JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are among the companies due to report their quarterly results before the start of trading.

U.S. stocks ended lower overnight as data showed consumer inflation reached 9.1 percent in June, its highest rate in nearly 41 years, and the Fed’s economic survey highlighted growing recession fears.

The major averages ended firmly in negative territory but well off their worst levels. The Dow slipped 0.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite eased 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 gave up half a percent.

European stocks edged lower on Wednesday as the euro extended declines to reach parity with the dollar for the first time in two decades on the back of hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation data.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gave up 1 percent. The German DAX tumbled 1.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 both fell around 0.7 percent.

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