Travel names support STOXX as insurers drag
STOXX 600 up 0.2%
All eyes on Fed
U.S. stock futures dip
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TRAVEL NAMES SUPPORT STOXX AS INSURERS DRAG (0912 GMT)
European shares are faring better than earlier futures trading suggested, with the STOXX 600 .STOXX moving as much as 0.5% higher in early trading. The index is last up 0.2%.
Shares in Novartis PRX.AS - down 1.3% after fourth quarter results - are the biggest drag on the index on a net point weighted basis.
Sweden's Husqvarna HUSQb.ST, the world's biggest maker of gardening power tools, is the biggest riser, up 6.1% after Q4 results, while German reinsurer Hannover HNRGn.DE is at the bottom of the index, down 4.6%. Insurers .SXIP are the biggest sectoral losers, down 0.4%.
Travel and leisure .SXTP names are the sector winner of the morning, up 1.05% and supported by TUI TUIGn.DE shares which are up 2.2%.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION (0747 GMT)
Global markets face their biggest test so far this year as the Federal Reserve appears poised to hint of an end to interest rate hikes at its meeting on Wednesday.
Investors are pricing in a quarter-of-a-percentage-point increase in the Fed's benchmark interest rate, which would mark the smallest hike since U.S. central bankers kicked off their tightening cycle 10 months ago with one the same size.
Still, there's an air of caution, with markets leaving little scope for any nasty surprises.
In Europe, the region's central bank is expected to deliver 50-basis-point rate rises at each of its next two meetings, with the first one taking place on Thursday.
But the forecasts still risk lagging behind policymakers' guidance on how high rates will go.
The Bank of England is also expected to raise its interest rates by half a percentage point to 4% on Thursday.
For today, European markets will focus on euro zone January flash PMI data, while results are due from Vodafone VOD.L, GSK GSK.L and Novartis NOVN.S.
While the euro zone unexpectedly managed to avoid a recession in the fourth quarter, high energy costs, waning confidence and rising interest rates are expected to take a toll on the economy this year.
Germany and Italy figured among the biggest euro zone countries that recorded negative growth rates for the quarter but France and Spain expanded.
Surveys published on Wednesday showed Asia's factory activity contracted in January as the boost from China's COVID reopening had yet to offset headwinds from slowing U.S. and European growth, underscoring the fragility of the region's economic recovery.
Asian stock markets held steady, supported by signs of a slowdown in U.S. wages that buoyed Wall Street overnight.
Meanwhile, European Union banking regulators on Tuesday launched a stress test to check how banks could cope with a long period of high inflation and interest rates just as the European Central Bank is expected to raise borrowing costs further.
Bayer BAYGn.DE came under pressure after a top-10 shareholder called on the group's supervisory board to replace CEO Werner Baumann quickly, in a move aimed at restoring investor trust and reviving the German drugmaker's sagging share price.
Key developments that could influence markets on Wednesday:
Economic data: Euro zone Jan flash PMI
Europe results: Vodafone, GSK, Novartis, Banco Bilbao
Fed rate decision at 1900 GMT followed by news conference at 1930 GMT
U.S. economic data: Jan ISM
U.S. results: eBay
EUROPEAN FUTURES MUTED AS CENTRAL BANK BONANZA LOOMS (0722 GMT)
European shares are set for a muted start to Wednesday, though the mood permeating markets is anything but ahead of the outcome of the Fed's two-day meeting later on, euro zone inflation data and more earnings.
EuroSTOXX50 STXEc1 index futures are ticking up a tiny 0.05%, ahead of a day that could see the world's largest economy begin hinting at an end to interest rate hikes.
The Fed's meeting will precede decisions from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England - both due on Thursday.
Euro zone inflation data is expected to be a market-mover today, due for release at 1000 GMT, and earnings are also continuing to pour in.
Spain's BBVA BBVA.MC said its fourth quarter net profit rose 17.6% from the same quarter in 2021 while Swiss drugmaker Novartis NOVN.S predicted that core operating income would grow in a "mid single digit" percentage range in 2023.
In other corporate news, higher global raw material and logistics costs have pushed German automaker BMW BMWG.DE to raise suggested retail prices for some models sold in China.
Veteran Hollywood producer Peter Chernin and French TV production group Banijay's parent have expressed interest in UK broadcaster ITV's Studios, the maker of hit show "Love Island", sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
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