European Shares Hold Steady Ahead Of US Inflation Report

European stocks struggled for direction in cautious trade on Tuesday as investors braced for the release of U.S. consumer inflation data later in the day and a slew of central bank decisions due this week.

The U.S. central bank is widely expected to raise interest rate by 50 basis points (bps) on Wednesday, down from the 75 bps hikes in its last four meetings.

The pan European STOXX 600 was little changed after declining half a percent in the previous session. The German DAX, France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 all were marginally higher.

Tech stocks surged, with Infineon and ASML Holding rising over 1 percent each.

Novo Nordisk was moving lower after a report that the drug maker is delaying introduction of its Wegovy obesity treatment in Europe until next year.

Air Liquide S.A., a French provider of industrial gases and services, edged down slightly after it signed a long-term contract to supply additional hydrogen and carbon monoxide to Kumho Mitsui Chemical.

Shield Therapeutics jumped 7.4 percent in London after it entered into an exclusive, multi-year agreement with Viatris Inc. (VTRS) to co-commercialize Accrufer in the U.S.

In economic releases, Germany’s consumer price growth slowed in November amid a modest easing in energy prices, but the inflation rate remained high denying any respite to the European Central Bank policymakers who are set to deliver yet another interest rate hike later this week.

Consumer price inflation in the biggest euro area economy eased to 10.0 percent from 10.4 percent in October, latest figures from Destatis showed.

The consumer price index dropped 0.5 percent from October, when it rose 0.9 percent.
The harmonized index of consumer prices, which is meant for comparison of inflation rates among EU members, rose 11.3 percent year-on-year following an 11.6 percent increase in October.

Elsewhere, the U.K. jobless rate edged up in the three months ended October as firms held back recruitment amid recession fears, official data showed earlier today.

The ILO jobless rate edged up to 3.7 percent in three months to October in line with expectations and up from 3.6 percent in three months to September.
The employment rate increased 0.2 percentage points on the quarter to 75.6 percent.

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