Berliner Tageblatt - European equities stumble on UK inflation news

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European equities stumble on UK inflation news
European equities stumble on UK inflation news / Photo: © AFP

European equities stumble on UK inflation news

Europe's main stock markets fell Wednesday as official data showed UK inflation slowing sharply but missing analysts' forecasts, dousing hopes of a Bank of England rate cut any time soon.

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London stocks sank and the pound jumped on news that Britain's Consumer Prices Index slowed to 2.3 percent in April, outpacing analyst expectations of 2.1 percent.

That jolted sentiment as both the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve are tipped to lower their borrowing costs this year in response to subsiding global inflationary pressures.

Paris and Frankfurt indices also dropped with sentiment also subdued after a mixed session in Asia.

London won only a partial boost from strong annual profits at food-to-clothing retailer Marks & Spencer.

"Stock markets fell in Europe on Wednesday, with the UK's FTSE 100 leading declines as investors were disappointed by the latest inflation print," said ActivTrades analyst Ricardo Evangelista.

"With dovish tones recently set out by both the ECB and the Fed, investors have been disappointed that the BoE may now delay the start of its easing monetary cycle."

Asian markets fared mixed as investors struggled to revive a recent rally as they turned their focus on the release later in the day of earnings from US tech darling Nvidia.

Record closes for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq provided a little inspiration, with upcoming minutes from the Fed's May policy decision possibly giving an insight into officials' thinking over the rates outlook.

A slowdown in US inflation and China's announcement last week of plans to support its battered property sector have helped propel equities but traders in Asia are taking a breather.

The next major driver could be the results from Nvidia -- the third-largest US company by market capitalisation -- which is being seen as a gauge of overall market sentiment.

The chip-making giant's stock price has rocketed in recent years -- its shares are up around 90 percent in 2024 -- with the high-end processors prized by firms looking to get ahead in the booming artificial intelligence sector.

However, there is a worry that the figures do not match sky-high expectations, which some observers say could spark a hefty sell-off, particularly among market-heavyweight tech firms.

- Key figures around 1045 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 8,394.50 points

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.5 percent at 8,101.29

Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 0.2 percent at 18,684.51

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 5,033.99

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.9 percent at 38,617.10 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.1 percent at 19,195.60 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 3,158.54 (close)

New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 39,872.99 (close)

Dollar/yen: UP at 156.43 yen from 156.18 yen on Tuesday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0843 from $1.0858

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2727 from $1.2708

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.20 from 85.41 pence

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.6 percent at $79.34 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: DOWN 0.6 percent at $83.23 per barrel