European Markets Dip as Investors Eye Inflation Data and Unilever Sale


  • European stock markets were mostly lower on the second-last week of the year, as investors try to secure recent profits prior to the release of key inflation data.
  • Germany’s and France’s saw a decline in percentages, whilst the UK’s saw an increase.

  • Key inflation data release is due this week; UK’s inflation release could contain figures double the 2% target of the Bank of England.
  • Economic data to look forward to from Europe includes the German Ifo survey.
  • Unilever, suffering from a fall in stock, plans to sell off its personal care division.
  • Crude prices get a push via a decrease in Russian exports, amidst rising concerns of oil supply interruption through the Red Sea.

Monday saw a slight decline in European stock markets as the year almost comes to an end, with investors opting to cash in on recent profits, awaiting key inflation data.

As of 03:35 ET (08:35 GMT), Germany’s market dipped by 0.4% while France’s dropped by 0.5%. Conversely, the UK’s market rose by 0.2%.

Inflation Data on the Horizon

Despite a successful fifth week in a row for European equities, the start of this week has been quiet, with the markets gearing up for the Christmas break and investors eyeing their profits.

Both, the and the , maintained their interest rates as expected last week, affirming that they will persist with their efforts to control inflation.

UK’s inflation data to be released midweek is poised to confirm figures exceeding the Bank of England’s 2% target.

Key representatives from ECB and the Bank of England are set to address these topics later in the session.

Meanwhile, Friday will see the release of , the US Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, expected to show a dip in consumer price pressures.

The US central bank indicated last week a possible halt on interest hikes and a move towards cuts in the coming year.

Anticipating the German Ifo Survey

Monday’s main economic release in Europe, the survey is expected to provide valuable insights into how the world’s biggest economy is faring as it draws the year to a close.

With a reported slight shrink in economy last quarter, Germany remains one of Europe’s weaker economies due to increased energy costs, a decline in international orders, and rising interest rates.

Unilever Plans to Divest Personal Care Division

Following a fall in Unilever’s stock by 0.6%, the company announced plans to sell its non-core Elida Beauty division to private equity firm Yellow Wood Partners with expected completion in mid-2024.

Russian Export Cuts Bolster Crude

Spurred by reduced exports from Russia and potential complications over Red Sea shipments, oil prices surged strongly at the start of the week.

By 03:35 ET, both futures and contract saw a rise of 0.8%, priced at $72.33 and $77.13 a barrel respectively.

Russia declared a further decrease in December’s oil export by approximately 50,000 barrels per day, while suppliers express growing concerns over possible disruptions via the Red Sea due to activities of Houthi militants.

These financial developments carry significant implications for forex trading, particularly affecting the assets of key players like Unilever, Germany’s , and the various oil-based futures and contracts.

PIP Penguin