European equities were broadly higher on Tuesday as the market eyes key U.S. inflation data to be released later in the day, with a firmer pound weighing on dollar-earning companies listed in London.
were pointing up around 30 points, set for a soft but positive open after declining 55 points on Monday to close at 33,745.40.
The U.S. consumer-price index for March is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The data will be closely watched by investors, as bond yields pushed higher amid inflation concerns from continued fiscal stimulus have put sustained pressure on equity markets.
This key U.S. inflation indicator “has emerged as a key focal point for markets, given the debates surrounding inflation and its implications for monetary policy moving forward,” said Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank.
“Indeed, part of the reason that markets have brought forward their expectations for Fed rate hikes is based around rising inflation expectations that they think the Fed might have to rein in, with two-year U.S. breakevens at 2.678% as of last night’s close,” Reid said.
Data from China boosted the outlook for the global economic recovery, with the country reporting that its March exports in dollar terms grew 30.6% year-over-year, while import growth surged 38.1%, outpacing expectations of a rise nearer 24%.
Shares in Air France-KLM
declined more than 3.5%, after the airline group announced after European markets closed on Tuesday it would launch a €988 million ($1.18 billion) share issue as part of a larger recapitalization project announced last week. The ownership stake of the French state will more than double under the share issue, to near 30%, while China Eastern Airlines, which currently owns 8.8% of the company’s shares, will invest up to €168 million.
Shares in Just Eat Takeaway.com
jumped more than 2.5%, after the food delivery group said in a trading update that orders in the first quarter of 2021 grew 79% from 2020 levels. Growth was particularly strong in the U.K., at 96%, where the company has poured investment into battling rivals Uber Eats and Deliveroo.
stock rose 2%, as shares in the critical supplier of equipment to the semiconductor industry recovered from a 2.5% dip in the previous session. The group reported on Monday that it had repurchased around €129 million of its own shares under a share buyback program announced in January.
A slight strengthening of the pound has pushed down shares in large British consumer companies that do business in dollars, with Unilever
and British American Tobacco
declining. The value of the U.K. currency
was near 0.1% higher on Tuesday and up more than 0.5% from lows on Monday.
The price of bitcoin
rose to a new record on Tuesday, to above $62,000, as the market readies for the float of Coinbase. The largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange is set to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.