European Markets Expected to Edge Higher; Gold Futures, Bitcoin Prices Slip
Crude oil prices slumped on Tuesday, following the release of data from the American Petroleum Institute showing a crude oil stockpile of 10.51 million barrels in the U.S. for the week ended February 10. Analysts were predicting an increase of 0.32 million barrels in inventory, compared to a decrease of 2.2 million barrels from the week prior. U.S. crude futures fell 1% to $79.31 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.7% to $86.02. At 3:35 AM Eastern Time (8:35 AM Greenwich Mean Time), the German DAX index was up by 0.3%, the French CAC 40 gained 0.3%, and the British FTSE 100 increased by 0.4%.
The European Central Bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points last Thursday and indicated that another hike was likely at its next meeting in March, with ECB President Christine Lagarde citing high core inflation. Gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,887.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0784.
At the opening of Thursday, European stocks are predicted to have a slight increase, as traders considered the most recent German inflation information as well as the ongoing quarterly corporate earnings season. Following reports that academic Kazuo Ueda was set to be appointed as the next governor of the Bank of Japan, the yen generally strengthened.
U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled 0.2per cent lower at US$1,874.50 per ounce, while spot gold fell 1% to $1,835.86 an ounce. Bitcoin dropped 0.68% to a total of US$21 At 9.40 AM regional time (0640 GMT), Brent crude was trading at USD85.20 per barrel, an increase of 0.13 percent from the closing rate of USD85.09 per barrel in the previous session.
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