European stock markets are expected to open slightly firmer Tuesday, with investors digesting important corporate earnings from the likes of oil giant BP (NYSE:BP), more economic data as well as the latest commentary from Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell.
At 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.1%, while the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%.
European stocks are expected to rebound on Tuesday from the previous session’s losses, with global attention focused on a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at the Economic Club in Washington D.C. at the end of the day.
The strength of Friday’s U.S. jobs report rocked stock markets as it suggested the Fed has more time to continue raising interest rates, and hence their comments on the economy. economic and monetary policy of the United States will be carefully studied.
Back in Europe, economic data due for release includes French trade numbers, Spanish industrial production, both for December, and U.K. house prices for January.
Earlier, German industrial production fell 3.1% on the month in December, a slump from the 0.2% growth seen the prior month. This was disappointing after data on Monday showed German industrial orders rose in December, increasing by 3.2% on the month, a substantial rebound from the upwardly revised drop of 4.4% in November.
In the corporate sector, a lot of Tuesday’s focus will be on the quarterly earnings of energy giant BP, especially after rival Shell’s bumper results last week.
Shell (LON:RDSa) rewarded shareholders with a 15% increase in the dividend and a $4 billion buyback last Thursday, and investors will be looking for something similar from its peer this morning.
On a less positive note, BNP Paribas (EPA:BNPP), the Eurozone`s biggest lender, posted a lower-than-expected net profit in the fourth quarter, as a jump of its cost of risk and higher operating expenses offset a boom in its trading sales.
Holcim (SIX:HOLN) will also be in the spotlight, after the Swiss cement maker announced plans to acquire U.S. roofing systems manufacturer Duro-Last for $1.29B.
Oil prices rose Tuesday, helped by continued optimism over the recovery in demand from China, the largest crude importer in the world, this year.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, raised prices for its flagship crude for Asian buyers late Monday for the first time in six months, expecting increased demand from the region, especially from China.
This followed International Energy Agency head Fatih Birol stating over the weekend that early signs pointed to a stronger-than-anticipated rebound in China’s economy.
Supply outages also helped the tone, with Turkey halting flows to its Ceyhan export terminal after a major earthquake, while a power outage hit Norway’s Johan Sverdrup field.
By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.6% higher at $75.28 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.4% to $82.16.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,887.50/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0741.