European stock markets weakened Thursday, with risk sentiment fragile given mounting fears of a global recession in the wake of aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. By 03:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 1.6% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 1.5%, and the UK’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.9%. Data released Thursday showed business activity in the Eurozone’s two largest economies, Germany and France, suffered a sharp loss of momentum at the end of the second quarter, raising concerns about an economic slowdown in the region.
European stock markets are expected to open lower Thursday, with risk sentiment fragile given mounting fears that aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve will result in a global recession. At 02:00 AM ET (0600 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.3% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.3% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.3%. European equity indices have received a weak handover from Asia, while U.S. stock futures are also lower following the first day of U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s two-day testimony to Congress.
The main European indices posted minor gains on Tuesday, adding to Monday’s improvement in the wake of last week’s hefty losses as a number of global central banks tightened monetary policies to tame red hot inflation. U.K. CPI climbed to 9.1% on the year in May, up 0.7% on the month, and further gains look likely, with the central bank predicting last week that inflation could reach as high as 11% in October.