At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded largely flat, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.1% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.1%.
Sentiment remained weak in Europe the day after economic data showed a surprise 0.3% drop in German gross domestic product during the first three months of 2023, a second straight quarterly retreat and thus a recession in the region’s largest economy.
Data released Thursday showed that retail sales in the U.K. rose 0.5% on the month in April, but this still represented an annual drop of 3% as high levels of inflation weighed on discretionary spending.
And yet despite these signs of slowing growth, the region’s central bankers show no signs of slowing their prolonged aggressive monetary tightening cycles.
“In order to banish the specter of inflation, we in the Eurosystem have acted resolutely,” Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel said Thursday. “The ECB Governing Council will continue on this monetary-tightening path to overcome high inflation.”
Investors are also focusing on negotiations over raising the U.S. debt ceiling and avoiding an economically damaging default.
The two sides appear to be closing in on a deal that would raise the government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling for two years, Reuters reported late Thursday, with just $70 billion separating the groups on a total figure that would be well over $1 trillion.
That said, any agreement would have to pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled Senate, with the June 1 deadline fast approaching.
The quarterly earnings season is