On Wednesday, global equities and bond rates froze as investors awaited critical U.S. inflation data that might indicate when the Federal Reserve would cease its relentless rate rises.
After Friday’s employment data, which revealed a healthy labor market in the United States, investors are now focused on the March inflation report, which is scheduled later in the day.
The consumer price index is expected to show core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, at 0.4% on a monthly basis and 5.6% year-over-year in March, according to a Reuters poll, which would mark a rise from February’s 5.2% in a headache for the Fed.
Markets were in wait-and-see mode ahead of the data, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index inching up 0.3% by 0820 GMT, while Britain’s FTSE was up 0.6%. Futures also showed the U.S. S&P 500 index was set to open marginally higher.
In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.2% lower in choppy trading, snapping a three-day winning streak.