European stocks were relatively flat on Friday morning, as global markets monitor falling commodity prices while continuing to digest a hawkish pivot from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.2% in early trade, with insurance and banking stocks dropping 1.1% to lead losses while industrials added 0.3%.
Stateside, U.S. stock futures inched fractionally higher in early premarket trade Friday, but the Dow is still on course for a losing week in which sentiment was dominated by the Fed raising inflation expectations and moving forward its rate hike schedule. The move sent the dollar soaring.
On the data front, May’s U.K. retail sales fell 1.4% month on month, official statistics revealed Friday, falling short of the 1.6% expansion expected by economists in a Reuters poll. The Office for National Statistics said food stores contributed most prominently to the surprise decline. The pound tumbled to a new six-week low on the back of the dip.
Meanwhile, the German Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 1.5% month on month in May, vastly outstripping the 0.7% consensus forecast. On an annual basis, the PPI was 7.2% against a projection of 6.4%.
In terms of individual share price movement, British car dealer Inchcape climbed 4% in early trade to lead the Stoxx 600 after raising its 2021 profit outlook. At the bottom of the index, Dutch life insurer Aegon fell 3.7%.
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