European Shares Set For Cautious Start After Kabul Blasts

European stocks are seen opening broadly lower on Friday after the ISIS claimed responsibility for the twin blasts in Kabul airport and U.S. President Joe Biden vowed to “hunt” down the terrorists and make them “pay” for the deadly attacks.

Investors also await Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s symposium speech later today after non-voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee made hawkish monetary comments, urging the Fed to start tapering bond purchases in the fall and finish the process by the first quarter of next financial year.

President of the St. Louis Fed James Bullard said the central bank’s bond-buying blitz has started to create bubbles in the U.S. housing market.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan said he favors an announcement at the September meeting to begin tapering bond buying and implementing it in October or shortly after.

Kansas City Fed President Esther George told CNBC that she would be ready to talk about taper sooner rather than later.

Asian markets were mixed in cautious trade and Treasury yields held steady as investors looked ahead to Powell’s remarks for clues on how the U.S. central bank might pare bond purchases.

Oil prices rose in Asian trade and were on track to post big gains for the week after reports that a tropical system currently to the southeast of Mexico could strengthen and make landfall from the Gulf of Mexico this coming weekend.

Gold edged up slightly on safe-haven buying amid rising geopolitical tensions in Afghanistan, while Bitcoin traded around $47,000.

U.S. stocks retreated from record highs overnight, with news of bombings at the Kabul airport and hawkish comments from Fed officials weighing on sentiment.

In economic news, the latest jobless claims and annualized gross domestic product data slightly missed estimates. The Dow dropped half a percent, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed around 0.6 percent each.

European stocks fell on Thursday as data showed faltering German consumer morale amid rising COVID-19 cases.

The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.3 percent. The German DAX slipped 0.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 index eased 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gave up 0.4 percent.

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