Markets’ morning briefing

ECB inflation

Markets will be looking to some key economic indicators across Europe today following the publication of some key data.

The final figures for German GDP in 2014 are released this morning, with forecasts predicting an annual growth rate of 1.6%. The figure for the final quarter of last year is expected to show growth of 0.7%.

Inflation figures from across the EU are due at 11 am, and policymakers will be casting a watchful eye over  how prices are performing. January´s figures represented an all-time low since the inception of the euro, and this month´s figures may reinforce the urgent need for the ECB´s quantative easing programme, scheduled to start next month. Mario Draghi will give an update on the situation with his monthly address later this afternoon.

Draghi is likely to outline to continued downward pressure on prices half an hour before his counterpart in the US, Janet Yellen, goes in front of Congress to provide an update on the American economy. As you know, Yellen is not expected to announce any change in policy on interest rates, with any likely hike expected to be pushed through later this year. A more significant event in the US may be the release of the Consumer Confidence Index scheduled for later today. Forecasts suggest that the index may be well below the previous month´s reading of 102.9.

In Spain, traders on the Ibex 35 will be focusing on results from Ferrovial and Enagas. Yesterday saw the publiction of company results for supermarket chain Dia, whose share price rose despite the company recording a decline in overall sales of 5.7% year-on-year. The company forecasts greater consumer spending in the year ahead, and has said it will raise prices as it seeks out a more affluent client base.

 

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