European markets set for a lackluster open as U.S. inflation data dominates week ahead

European markets look set to start the week on a negative note and are set to open flat-to-lower on Monday.

London’s FTSE is expected to open 2 points lower at 7,065, Germany’s DAX down 39 points at 15,653, France’s CAC 40 down 13 points at 6,500 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 1 point lower at 25,520, according to IG.

The cautious start for European stocks follows similar sentiment elsewhere. In Asia-Pacific overnight, markets were mixed as investors reacted to Chinese trade data for May.

China’s exports in dollar terms rose 27.9% in May as compared with a year earlier, according to customs data released Monday. That was lower than forecasts by analysts in a Reuters poll for a 32.1% year-on-year jump in exports.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures were flat Monday morning as investors digest the latest labor market data and look ahead to the next inflation reading on Thursday.

Friday’s jobs report showed the unemployment rate dropping to 5.8% from 6.1% and that 559,000 jobs were added in May. The report was seen as strong enough to keep investors’ confidence in the economy, but light enough to keep the Federal Reserve from rushing to change its easy money policies.

The main data event this week will be May’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) scheduled to be released Thursday. In April the CPI rose 4.2% from the previous year, the fastest increase since 2008. If prices continue to rise it could cause the Federal Reserve to step back from its easy policies.

Investors around the world will be assessing the ramifications of the G-7 nations’ reaching an agreement on global tax reform, calling for the world’s largest corporations to pay at least a 15% tax on their earnings.

That’s lower than the Biden administration’s initial suggestion of a minimum 21% tax rate, which didn’t garner much enthusiasm in other countries. Major companies including Facebook and Google have responded favorably to the agreement.

There are no major earnings releases on Monday but data releases include Swiss unemployment figures for May, German industrial orders in April and Russia inflation data for May.

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