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European stock futures edge higher; caution ahead of U.S. CPI release - European stock markets are expected to open marginally higher Wednesday, as investors cautiously await the release of key U.S. inflation data while the earnings season continues.

At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.1% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%.

Global sentiment received a boost when the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted last week that it could pause its aggressive monetary tightening cycle at its next meeting in June if the data allowed it to do so.

Friday’s official jobs report came in generally stronger than expected, and now financial markets are in holding patterns as they await the release of the U.S. consumer price index due later on Wednesday.

The reading is expected to show that the core index, which excludes volatile food and fuel prices, increased by 5.5% in April on a year-over-year basis, after a 5.6% increase a month earlier.

The headline rate is expected to increase by 5% annually, suggesting inflation remains sticky, well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% annual target.

Back in Europe, German consumer prices rose 0.4% on the month in April, an annual increase of 7.2%, as prices remained elevated in the eurozone’s largest economy.

Italian industrial production data for March and the latest Spanish consumer confidence figures are due later in the session.

In corporate news, ABN Amro (AS:ABNd) posted a 77% jump in first-quarter net profit earlier Wednesday, with the Dutch bank helped by rising interest rates and lower costs.

Alstom (EPA:ALSO) offered up positive guidance for the current fiscal year, with the French train maker adding market momentum remained very positive with a growing pipeline of orders. However, it delayed its mid-term targets by one year due to high inflation.

Earnings from the likes of ASOS (LON:ASOS), Continental (ETR:CONG), E.ON (ETR:EONGn), Tui (ETR:TUI1n), Credit Agricole (EPA:CAGR) and Telecom Italia (BIT:TLIT) will also be studied during the session.

Oil prices fell Wednesday after industry data pointed to an unexpected build in U.S. crude stocks, raising concerns over a possible fall in demand from the largest consumer in the world.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute, released Tuesday, indicated that U.S. crude inventories rose by about 3.6 million barrels in the week ended May 5, while gasoline stockpiles rose by just under 400,000 barrels.

Official numbers are due later in the session, and traders will also study the U.S. inflation numbers for clues about future Federal Reserve interest rate decisions.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% lower at $73.22 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.7% to $76.89.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.4% to $2,035.80/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0968

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