European markets muted following red-hot U.S. inflation reading; Countryside down 25%

European markets muted following red-hot U.S. inflation reading

January 14, 2022: -European stocks were flat on Thursday as global markets faltered following the latest U.S. inflation reading showing consumer prices rose again in December.

During afternoon deals, the pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline, with household goods coming down 1.2% while autos gained 1.4%.

In terms of individual share price movement, Netherlands-based BE Semiconductor climbed 8.5% to lead the Stoxx 600.

At the bottom of the European blue-chip index, Britain’s Countryside Properties plunged more than 25% after announcing that its CEO will step down with immediate effect and revealing that first-quarter trading in the new financial year has been below the board’s expectations.

Global markets are digesting the latest red-hot inflation reading from the U.S. on Wednesday, which showed the December reading for the consumer price index, a gauge of prices across a broad spectrum of goods, increased 7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Every month, CPI increased 0.5%. According to Dow Jones, economists expected the consumer price index to rise 0.4% in December and 7% on a year-over-year basis.

Some economists think inflation could show signs of peaking, so the report will look closely at the longer-term trend.

Though CPI is not the Federal Reserve’s primary inflation gauge, policymakers are watching a variety of measures as they embark on the first stages of tightening the most accommodative policy measures in the central bank’s history.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told Senate lawmakers Tuesday that he expects interest rate increases this year along with the end of the monthly bond-buying program in March and a reduction in asset holdings. Powell said the moves likely would be needed to control inflation when the economy has recovered substantially from the pandemic shock.

The December producer price index, another measure of inflation, is set to come out on Thursday.

Big banks in the U.S. are also focused, with a number kicking off the fourth-quarter earnings season on Friday. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo are slated to release quarterly results before the U.S. trading session.

On Wednesday, Europe’s earnings came from Geberit while Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and ASOS released trading statements.

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