European Markets Headed For Flat To Slightly Higher Start

European Markets Headed For Flat To Slightly Higher Start

European markets look headed for a somewhat cautious start on Friday with investors reacting to some crucial earnings reports and economic data.

Most markets in the region moved higher on Thursday after crude oil prices hit their highest levels since December 2014 due to falling supplies, although many of these markets failed to hold at higher level and ended not much changed from previous closing levels.

Ericsson reported that its operating loss in the January – March 2018 quarter narrowed to 0.3 billion kronor from 11.3 billion kronor, supported by improved gross margin and reduced operating expenses, partly offset by lower sales.

Operating expenses decreased to 15.3 billion kronor from 18.9 billion kronor in the prior year. Write-down of assets as well as provisions and adjustments related to certain customer projects had a significant negative impact on the 2017 operating expenses, Ericsson said.

Reckitt Benckiser reported first-quarter revenue of 3.11 billion pounds, a proforma growth of 3 percent.

In economic news from the eurozone, Germany’s producer price inflation accelerated for the first time in six months in March, albeit marginally.though marginally, figures from Destatis showed.

Data released by Destatis today showed Germany’s producer price inflation to have risen to 1.9 percent in March from February’s 14-month low of 1.8 percent. The rate was forecast to increase to 2.0 percent.

On a monthly basis, producer prices edged up 0.1 percent from February, when it 0.1 percent drop. Prices were expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

The markets are looking ahead to the flash euro area consumer confidence data for April, to be released later in the day.

Thursday, major European markets had ended on a mixed note. The DAX of Germany declined 0.19 percent, while the French CAC 40 and U.K.’s FTSE 100 ended higher by 0.21 percent and 0.16 percent, respectively.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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