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European markets end lower after euro zone core inflation holds steady

After a positive session Monday, the regional Stoxx 600 resumed last week’s decline. The pan-European index provisionally closed around 0.4% lower, with the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipping 0.6%, Germany’s Dax falling 0.7% and France’s Cac down 0.3%. Spain’s Ibex led the declines, sliding 1.3%.
Most sectors were in the red, with insurance stocks down 1.6%, while oil and gas pushed 0.55% higher.
Headline inflation in the euro area dipped to 2.5% in June, the European Union’s statistics agency announced, in line with the expectation of economists polled by Reuters.
However, the closely watched figures for core and services inflation remained stubbornly high, holding at 2.9% and 4.1%, respectively.
Money market pricing suggests the ECB will cut rates by 25 basis points twice more by the end of the year, according to LSEG data.
In a CNCB-moderated panel on Tuesday, ECB President Christine Lagarde said the bloc was “very advanced on that disinflationary path.”
“We are in that slow recovery that came about in the first quarter and which we hope will persevere,” she continued, while noting that uncertainties remain.
ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos told CNBC on Tuesday that while the central bank is confident inflation will converge at its 2% target, the “next months are not going to be easy” and it has no predetermined path for monetary policy decisions.
Elsewhere on the data front, the British Retail Consortium said year-on-year shop price inflation in the U.K. fell to 0.2% in June from 0.6% in May, the lowest level since October 2021. The Bank of England is also grappling with when to start easing monetary policy, after U.K. headline inflation hit its 2% target.
Germany’s Ifo Institute said the business climate in the automotive industry “deteriorated slightly” in June and was failing to gain momentum along with the wider economy.
British grocery group Sainsbury’s, meanwhile, reported 3% higher sales in a first-quarter trading statement.
Asia-Pacific markets mostly fell overnight, breaking ranks with Wall Street, which saw the Nasdaq Composite reach a new record on the back of tech stocks.
U.S. stocks churned, meanwhile, after Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell noted progress on inflation, but reiterated that the central bank was not quite ready to cut rates.
CNBC
Jul 3, 2024 09:38
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