(Sharecast News) – European stocks opened marginally higher as investors digested weak data from China and the UK, along with Wednesday’s US inflation figure.
The pan-regional Stoxx 600 index was up 0.10 % in early deals, with major bourses flat or just above the flatline. US consumer price inflation fell to an annualised 3% in June, below consensus expectations. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, fell to 4.8% annually, below a consensus projection of 5%.
Chinese exports during June recorded their heaviest fall in three years in June, slumping to a worse-than-expected 12.4% year-on-year, in another sign the world’s second biggest economy was in the doldrums and increasing the pressure for stimulus measures.
Meanwhile UK GDP data showed the British economy contracted by less than expected in May at 0.1%, but the housing market showed signs of a slowdown in June, reflected in a trading statement from builder Barratt which said it expected to complete fewer homes this year, hitting its share price along with sector peers Taylor Wimpey, Bellway and Persimmon.
The Bank of England is under pressure to resolve the cost-of-living crisis gripping Britain as inflation – which it called “transitory” two years ago to justify its decision to delay rate rises – remains stubbornly high.
In other equity news, Dr Martens shares rose after the bootmaker said said trading since the start of the current financial year had been in line with expectations, adding that progress had been made rectifying the US warehousing fiasco that led to a series of profit warnings.
Diploma shares outperformed the market after the distribution specialist announced the purchase of DICSA for £170m and said current trading was in line with expectations.