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European stock futures lower; growth concerns weigh - European stock markets are expected to open with small losses Tuesday, as global growth concerns weighed on sentiment.

At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.4% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.3%.

Confidence has been hit Tuesday following the release of disappointing Chinese data which suggested that the country’s post-COVID economic rebound was slowing.

China is a major export market for Europe’s major companies, yet its industrial production grew less than expected in April, data showed on Tuesday, while retail spending rose at a slower-than-expected pace through April.

The European Commission on Monday lifted its gross domestic product estimate higher for this year, now forecasting 1% growth, up from a previous 0.8% estimate.

However, it also raised its forecasts for inflation for the euro area to 5.8% this year and 2.8% in 2024, expecting the European Central Bank to continue with rate hikes, potentially adding to growth concerns.

The preliminary estimate of the euro zone’s first quarter gross domestic product is scheduled to be released later in the session, and is expected to show the region barely grew in the opening three months of the year.

Data also showed that the U.K. unemployment rate edged higher to 3.9% in March, while investors will also study the German ZEW economic sentiment index for May for clues of the economic health of the euro zone’s largest economy.

Adding to these growth concerns is the political uncertainty in Turkey as well as the drawn-out U.S. debt ceiling debate.

Quarterly earnings are also expected from the likes of Euronext (EPA:ENX), Vodafone (LON:VOD), Britvic (LON:BVIC), Greggs (LON:GRG) and Boohoo (LON:BOOH).

Oil prices rose Tuesday, boosted by U.S. plans to refill its heavily-depleted strategic reserves, overshadowing the weak Chinese economic data.

The U.S. Department of Energy said on Monday it would buy 3 million barrels of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for delivery in August, and asked that offers be submitted by May 31.

The move comes after the Biden administration drew the SPR to its lowest level since 1983 over the past year in a bid to bring down record-high fuel prices spurred by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% higher at $71.25 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.2% to $75.38.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.4% to $2,014.85/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0869.

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