European stocks dropped as investors keep their eyes peeled for the ECB’s rate hike decision.

Global shares eased on Thursday, ahead of the outcome of the ECB’s rate meeting.
The dollar edged up, while 10-year Treasury yields held steady above 3%. 
Natural gas prices surged in Europe after a fire closed a key US export terminal.

Global shares dipped on Thursday, led by modest losses in European stocks ahead of the European Central Bank’s upcoming monetary policy meeting at which it is expected to announce its first rate hike in 11 years.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.94%, while the Paris’ CAC 40  tumbled 0.97% and Frankfurt’s DAX 40 slipped 0.99%. 

At the same time, US futures rose, suggesting that the benchmark indices may pare some of the previous day’s losses, ahead of weekly jobless data and before Friday’s key read on consumer inflation. 

Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, while those on the Dow Jones and Nasdaq gained 0.3% and 0.5% respectively.

“Overall there is a ‘wait and see’ mood pervading financial markets, as investors brace for a jolt of tightening from the European Central Bank, ending the long easy-money era,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. 

“All eyes will be on what moves are flagged next, with the start of interest rate hikes expected in July, but just how fast and how high the ECB will go in trying to keep a lid on surging prices isn’t clear,” she added. 

As the eurozone grapples with record-high consumer inflation, ECB officials have all but confirmed in recent weeks that a hike is coming in July. Chief economist Philip Lane said last week that 25 basis point increases in July and September were the most likely pace.

Though the central bank indicated it would implement a gradual approach to its rate hikes, a sentiment of uncertainty still looms against a backdrop of a more hawkish approach from central bankers in Australia and India this week. 

Meanwhile, investor concerns over inflation persist in the US, which have only been aggravated by a rise in commodity prices. 

WTI oil futures edged higher at $122 per barrel on Thursday, while Brent crude oil held at $123 a barrel.

“There are expectations oil will surge even higher as supply …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

Global shares ease ahead of the ECB’s rate decision, while US futures edge higher

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