Europe stocks steady as eurozone inflation hits record high
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European stock markets steadied Friday with traders having expected news of record-high eurozone inflation that reinforced expectations of an ECB interest rate hike this month.
On the upside, the haven dollar jumped one percent against the pound on rising expectations of a recession, while oil rebounded on tight supplies.
Eurozone inflation accelerated to another record high in June, official data showed Friday, fuelled by fallout from the Ukraine war.
The EU's Eurostat data agency said annual consumer price inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro soared to 8.6 percent in June, up from the prior record of 8.1 percent in May.
"Today's figures bolster the European Central Bank's (ECB) intended decision to start raising interest rates at its next Governing Council meeting in July," noted economist Pushpin Singh at research group CEBR.
The ECB stated last month that it will deliver its first interest rate hike in more than a decade in July to combat inflation.
Eurostat added Friday that core inflation -- stripping out volatile components like energy and food -- slowed to 3.7 percent from 3.8 percent, helping equities to calm heading into the weekend pause.
Earlier Friday, Asian stock markets closed lower after another Wall Street selloff.
Data showing US consumers -- the backbone of the world's top economy -- were growing increasingly reticent about spending dealt a fresh blow, with New York's S&P 500 index suffering its worst first-half performance since 1970.
With the war in Ukraine showing no sign of ending -- keeping energy costs elevated -- there is an expectation that borrowing costs will continue to rise and send economies into recession.
Losses across world markets this week come after a rally last week fuelled by hopes that an economic slowdown or signs of recession would lead central banks to ease off their monetary tightening drive.
But comments from top finance chiefs, including Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell, suggest they are willing to endure the pain of a contraction as long as they can rein in prices -- which are rising at their fastest pace in 40 years on both sides of the Atlantic.
The grim global economic outlook has also weighed on bitcoin, which has dropped back under $20,000.
- Key figures at around 1100 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,159.16 points
Frankfurt - DAX: FLAT at 12,785.72
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 5,953.69
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,448.68
Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.4 percent at $111.61 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.2 percent at $108.13 per barrel
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.7 percent at 25,935.62 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,387.64 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: Closed for a holiday
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.8 percent at 30,775.43 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0456 from $1.0484 Thursday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2062 from $1.2178
Euro/pound: UP at 86.69 pence from 86.09 pence
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 135.32 yen from 135.72 yen