STOCK EXCHANGES: European stocks open up – Energy companies fall as market speculates on US oil reserves

European stock markets opened up on a broad front on Thursday. After half an hour of trading, the Frankfurt DAX was up 0.6 per cent and the London FTSE 100 was up 0.1 per cent.

The broad Stoxx Europe 600 index opened up 0.3 percent. At the sector level, the strongest attraction was seen in technology, while energy companies declined.

The price of oil fell sharply in the morning trade as the United States was rumored to consider releasing a significant amount of oil from its reserves to the market.

According to unnamed sources, the United States would be planning to increase oil supply by as much as 180 million barrels over a period of several months, which could mean an increase of up to one million barrels per day. The aim is to soften the rise in energy prices accelerated by the war in Ukraine.

Yesterday, European stock markets mostly ended in decline after a slight disappointment in the ceasefire negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.

On Tuesday, the reaction was positive when Russia was told it planned to significantly reduce its hostilities in the Kiev region. On Wednesday, however, skeptical voices will increase as Russia is suspected of changing its strategy and concentrating its military operations in eastern Ukraine instead of Kiev, where it has a stronger foothold.

The end of the war is therefore not yet in sight. In addition to the war, investors are weighing on eurozone inflation, for which preliminary figures for March are due to be released tomorrow. A storm warning was issued yesterday, with inflation rising to more than 7% in Germany and almost 10% in Spain.

Inflation released in France today was slightly more moderate, at 4.5 per cent year-on-year, but in France it also rose by more than one per cent from the previous month.

Eurozone inflation is expected to be 6.7 per cent in March, but an upward surprise is very possible. The war and the sanctions imposed on Russia have made it difficult to predict both the price level and economic growth.

Stock futures anticipate a rise in the U.S., with S&P 500 futures up 0.3 percent plus and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.7 percent.

By Editor

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