Global markets reacted to the latest U.S. inflation reading, which showed that consumer prices rose again in December. Hence, European stocks fell slightly on Thursday. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.1 percent below the flatline in early trade. Moreover, health care stocks fell 0.5 percent, and technology stocks increased 1 percent.
In terms of individual share price movement, Sopra Steria, a French software developer, rose more than 5% after raising its 2021 guidance and appointing a new CEO.
At the bottom of the European blue-chip index, Countryside Properties has dropped more than 16 percent after announcing that its CEO will step down with immediate effect and revealing that first-quarter trading in the new fiscal year has been below the board’s expectations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, global markets are digesting the latest red-hot inflation reading from the United States, which showed that the consumer price index, a gauge of prices across a wide range of goods, increased 7% in December.
CPI increased by 0.5 percent every month. According to Dow Jones, economists expected the consumer price index to rise 0.4 percent in December and 7 percent yearly.
Some economists believe inflation is nearing a peak so the report will scrutinize a longer-term trend.
Big banks in the United States are also in the spotlight, with a report kicking off the fourth-quarter earnings season on Friday.
Geberit reported earnings while Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and ASOS issued trading statements.
Stock Futures Flat
Early Thursday, U.S. stock futures were little changed after the Nasdaq Composite rose despite a hot consumer price index report for the third session.
The Dow futures were only up 16 points. The S&P 500 futures were up 4 points, while the Nasdaq 100 futures were 28 points.
After-hours trading saw shares of homebuilder KB Home rise more than 6% after the company reported better-than-expected earnings.
Despite the consumer price index showing the highest year-over-year increase since June 1982, the major averages rose on Wednesday, mainly with Wall Street expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained approximately 38 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2 percent for the third day in a row.
Also, at 8:30 a.m., initial jobless claims for the week ending Jan. 8 will release on the data front. Dow Jones polled economists predicted 200,000 people would file for unemployment benefits, down from 207,000 the previous week.
The fourth-quarter earnings season begins this week, with several significant banks reporting before the market opens on Friday.