European stocks fall in Fed rate concerns; AstraZeneca lifts revenue target

Source Investing
May 21, 2024 07:26

Investing.com - European stock markets slipped lower Tuesday, as the positive momentum at the start of the week stalled amid concerns of U.S. interest rates staying higher for longer than expected.

At 03:10 ET (07:10 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.1% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.4%, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. dropped 0.3%.

Fed interest rates in focus 

Trading ranges have been limited so far this week as investors waited for the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting to gauge the timing and extent of possible interest rate cuts this year in the world’s largest economy.

Softer-than-expected consumer prices earlier this month saw traders rebuild easing bets, but Vice Chair Philip Jefferson said on Monday that it was too early to tell if the slowdown is "long lasting," and Vice Chair Michael Barr saying restrictive policy needs more time, dulling hopes for early cuts.

There are more Fed speakers to digest Tuesday, including Barr once more, as well as FOMC members Thomas Barkin, John Williams and Raphael Bostic.

Back in Europe, the European Central Bank is widely expected to cut interest rates in June, as officials deem inflation to have stalled sufficiently so they can ease monetary policy to aid the region’s economic recovery.

Data released earlier Tuesday backed up that view, as German producer prices fell more than expected in April, dropping 3.3% on the year, due mainly to lower energy prices.

Excluding energy prices, producer prices were 0.6% lower than in April 2023.

AstraZeneca lifts revenue target

In the corporate sector, AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) stock rose 1.2% after the pharmaceutical giant announced a target of $80 billion in total revenue by 2030, up from $45.8 billion in the full-year 2023, via “significant growth in its existing oncology, biopharmaceuticals and rare disease portfolio.”

The company plans to launch 20 new medicines before that time, it said in a release on its investor day.

Sanofi (EPA:SASY) (NASDAQ:SNY) stock rose 0.5% after the French drugmaker announced it is collaborating with artificial intelligence company OpenAI and Formation Bio to boost its drug development projects through the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Generali (BIT:GASI) stock fell 3% despite the Italian insurer reporting better-than-expected results for the first quarter, driven by growth across all of its segments.

Crude falls on worries of high US rates

Crude prices fell Tuesday, continuing the previous session’s losses, on worries high U.S. interest rates will hit economic activity in the world’s largest consumer this year.

By 03:10 ET, the U.S. crude futures (WTI) traded 0.7% lower at $78.75 per barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.7% to $83.13 per barrel.

Both benchmarks fell less than 1% on Monday as U.S. Federal Reserve officials said they were awaiting more signs of slowing inflation before considering interest rate cuts.

Political uncertainty in Iran, following the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, as well as concerns over the Saudi King’s health have also presented some risk for the crude markets.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.9% to $2,415.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0861.

 

Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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