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European Stock Futures Mixed as China's Manufacturing Slowdown in Focus

Stock markets in Europe are set to open mixed on Tuesday as investors return from the holiday season and consider the economic outlook for the new year.

Puzzle styled European Union and China Flags
Puzzle styled European Union and China Flags

When writing, the DAX futures contract in Germany was down 0.6%, the CAC 40 futures in France had dropped 0.6%, and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the UK had risen 0.2%.

Investors are keeping a close eye on China's economic performance and the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, given the importance of this export market to some of Europe's largest companies. Data from a private survey released Tuesday showed that Chinese manufacturing activity shrank for a fifth consecutive month in December, with the Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index coming in at 49.0, a drop from the previous month's reading of 49.4. This marks the fifth month the manufacturing PMI has been in contraction territory.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva stated on Sunday that the US, Europe, and China – the main engines of global growth – are all slowing simultaneously, making 2023 more challenging for the global economy than 2022. Later on Tuesday, German unemployment and inflation data for December and UK manufacturing PMI numbers will provide further evidence of the slowdown in Europe.

Oil Prices Edge Higher Despite Weak China Factory Data

Oil prices rose slightly on Tuesday, trading near their highest levels in a month despite weak factory data from China, the world's largest crude importer and second-largest oil consumer. US crude futures were up 0.4% at $80.60 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.4% to $86.22. Traders had a more optimistic view of the longer-term prospects for China's economy after the worst of the COVID waves had passed.

Gold Futures and EUR/USD Trading Update

Gold futures rose 1.2% to $1,848.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0656.