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European Stock Futures Edge Lower; U.S. Inflation, Earnings in Focus

European stock markets are expected to open slightly lower Tuesday, ahead of the release of key U.S. inflation data and with the corporate earnings season in full flow.


At 2:05 AM ET (0705 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.2% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.2%.


European stock markets have hit record highs of late, boosted by relatively dovish central bank messages, signs of a global economic recovery and a healthy earnings season on both sides of the Atlantic.


A potential fly in the ointment could be the high levels of inflation forcing central banks, and the Federal Reserve in particular, to raise interest rates earlier than expected.


Investors will thus keep an eye on the latest U.S. producer price index due later Tuesday and then the consumer price index on Wednesday.


Back in Europe, the quarterly earnings season continues, with German reinsurance group Munich Re stating that its 2021 profit target was within reach despite losses from a number of severe storms as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.


German life sciences group Bayer (OTC:BAYRY) saw its third-quarter sales and earnings grow substantially, while results are also expected from the likes of Direct Line (LON:DLGD) and Associated British Foods (OTC:ASBFY).


AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) will also be in the spotlight after the drug maker’s antibody cocktail against Covid-19 passed the first nod of approval in Australia, the country's medical regulatory body said on Tuesday.


On the data front, the key release in Europe will be Germany’s ZEW survey of economic sentiment for November, which will provide a picture of the health of the region’s economic driver.


Crude prices edged lower Tuesday, consolidating after recent gains, with the passage of the infrastructure bill in the U.S. adding to a market already benefiting from tight supply and a global post pandemic economic recovery.


Investors now await U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute later Tuesday and the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.


U.S. crude inventories are expected to have risen a third straight week, potentially helping to cap further gains.


By 2:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded flat at $81.92 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.1% to $83.36.


Additionally, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,826.90/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1600.

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