Business

European Stocks Close Slightly Lower as Inflation Nerves Grip Markets

UK Parliament | Jessica Taylor | via Reuters
  • International markets are gearing up for key U.S. data releases this week, including the latest inflation reading on Friday.
  • On Monday evening, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly survived a vote of confidence triggered by his own lawmakers amid increasing dissatisfaction in his leadership.

LONDON — European stocks closed slightly lower on Tuesday amid nervousness over inflation, with the next U.S. reading due at the end of the week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended 0.3% lower, with technology stocks shedding 1.2% to lead losses as most sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory.

Conversely, mining stocks and oil and gas stocks closed over 1.2% higher.

International markets are gearing up for key U.S. data releases this week, including the latest inflation reading on Friday. May's consumer price index in the U.S. is expected to be just slightly cooler than April, and some economists are expecting it could confirm that inflation has peaked.

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, also due Friday, will also be closely watched by investors.

David Roche, veteran investor and president of Independent Strategy, told CNBC on Tuesday that the stock market is in the process of a "very long, slow forming of an equity market bottom."

"We have to remember that inflation is not just the rate of change in the prices, it is the level of prices, and we have had a huge increase in the level of prices which, everything is telling us due to low productivity, is still going to work away and erode margins," Roche told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe."

"So I think that the rallies that you will see as the market forms a bottom will be fairly ephemeral and fairly fragile."

U.S. stocks rose slightly on Tuesday even after retail giant Target issued a profit warning, reigniting fears of a potential recession.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday as the Reserve Bank of Australia announced a larger-than-expected interest rate hike of 50 basis points.

The U.K.'s market reaction amid political turbulence in the country was limited on Tuesday. On Monday evening, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of confidence triggered by his own lawmakers amid increasing dissatisfaction in his leadership.

Some 211 Conservative Party lawmakers voted in favor of the prime minister on Monday, while 148 voted against him. Johnson needed the support of a simple majority of 180 MPs to win the vote, but the figure of 148 was worse than many expected.

It is also worse than the result of a similar vote that former leader Theresa May faced in 2018. She resigned as prime minister just six months later.

It was a quiet day on the data and earnings front in Europe. Germany's industrial orders fell by more than expected in April for a third consecutive monthly decline, as weak demand and added uncertainty since Russia's invasion of Ukraine continued to weigh.

In terms of individual share price movement, Swedish cloud computing firm Sinch fell 5.4% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600, while Swiss logistics company Interroll fell 3.5% after Credit Suisse cut its target price for the stock.

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