- Global markets gear up for the latest inflation reading from the U.S., which could help determine the Federal Reserve's schedule for tapering its asset purchase program.
- Investors in Europe are also gearing up for the next meeting of the European Central Bank on Thursday, with most expecting the central bank to keep its foot on the stimulus pedal.
LONDON — European stocks were mixed on Thursday morning as global markets gear up for the latest inflation reading from the U.S.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade, with autos dropping 1% while health care stocks climbed 0.6%.
Global markets are predominantly focused on the U.S. inflation data due out Thursday, which could be crucial in shaping the Federal Reserve's schedule for raising interest rates or tapering its asset purchase program.
Shares in Asia-Pacific edged higher in Thursday's trade and futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes were mixed in early premarket trade.
The Labor Department is scheduled to publish its consumer price index data at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the May CPI report to show prices up 4.7% year over year after April's increase of 4.2%.
The Federal Reserve has been trying to gauge if higher price pressures are just temporary as the economy continues to rebound from the pandemic-induced recession.
For weeks, investors have been worried whether a rash of inflation could prompt the Fed to curb the pace of its asset purchases or begin to signal an increase to interest rates. Still, some say those fears are premature and that the central bank will give markets plenty of time before it makes any moves.