Morning Chronicle - Eurozone stocks, euro higher before ECB update on rates

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Eurozone stocks, euro higher before ECB update on rates
Eurozone stocks, euro higher before ECB update on rates / Photo: Tomas CUESTA - AFP/File

Eurozone stocks, euro higher before ECB update on rates

Eurozone stock markets and the euro rose Thursday awaiting the outcome of the European Central Bank's latest monetary policy meeting, as traders seek more information on when it will start to raise interest rates to fight the bloc's record-high inflation.

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Oil prices, whose recent surge has contributed to inflation around the globe reaching the highest levels in decades, came off the boil Thursday.

Investors were keeping a watch also on earnings updates due from more US banks, a day after JPMorgan Chase reported a sharp drop in profits and warned of downside risks from the Ukraine war and surging inflation.

Elsewhere on the corporate front, Tesla chief Elon Musk has launched a hostile takeover bid for Twitter, offering to buy 100 percent of its stock and take it private, according to a stock exchange filing Wednesday.

"Several big US banks are due to report... while the latest brush strokes in the global interest rate picture will be painted by the European Central Bank later as it meets to decide whether to follow the Bank of England and US Federal Reserve in hiking rates," noted Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.

"The expectation is that ECB chief Christine Lagarde and her colleagues will sit on their hands but the runaway nature of inflation in the eurozone is bringing considerable pressure to bear on the central bank."

The ECB and investors at large remain cautious about the financial fallout caused by the war in Ukraine.

Prices were already soaring in major economies when Russia's invasion in late February sent shockwaves through the global energy, food and commodity markets.

Data this week from the United States -- the world's biggest economy -- showed inflation at a level not seen in 40 years.

Analysts said, however, that markets had welcomed an indication that US inflation may be approaching its peak.

Despite falling Thursday, both main oil contracts stayed firmly above the $100 per barrel mark, with fears swirling about global supply constraints over the invasion of Ukraine by Russia -- a major producer of oil and gas.

- Key figures around 1100 GMT -

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.2 percent at 14,109.27 points

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.6 percent at 6,581.87

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 3,846.03

London - FTSE 100: FLAT at 7,577.73

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 percent at 27,172.00 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.7 percent at 21,518.08 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 3,225.64 (close)

New York - Dow: UP 1.0 percent at 34,564.59 (close)

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.4 percent at 107.31 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.1 percent at 103.10 per barrel

Euro/dollar - UP at $1.0905 from $1.0894 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar - UP at $1.3132 from $1.3109

Euro/pound - UP at 83.07 pence from 83.03 pence

Dollar/yen - DOWN at 125.25 from 125.59