European Shares Seen Tad Lower At Open

European stocks are seen opening a tad lower on Friday, a day after the European Central Bank joined the growing number of central banks to cease easy-money policies.

The focus now shifts to U.S. consumer inflation data due out later in the day that could influence the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike roadmap for fighting inflation.

The annual rate of consumer price growth is expected to hold at 8.3 percent in May, while the annual rate of core consumer price growth is expected to slow to 5.9 percent from 6.2 percent.

Asian markets fell on growth and inflation worries, with fresh activity restrictions in Beijing and Shanghai adding to the downbeat sentiment.

Gold prices dipped as the dollar and yields edged up, hurting demand for zero-yield-bullion. Oil prices fell on demand worries as a new Shanghai lockdown signaled a bumpy recovery.

U.S. stocks fell sharply overnight as the ECB’s decision to tighten monetary policy in response to inflation sent yields higher.

The Dow tumbled 1.9 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 2.8 percent and the S&P 500 declined 2.4 percent.

European stocks also ended lower on Thursday as the European Central Bank downgraded its growth forecasts and revised up its inflation projections.

The ECB said it would end its massive bond-buying stimulus by the end of June and begin hiking interest rates on July 21 for the first time in 11 years, followed by another hike in September.

The pan European Stoxx 600 lost 1.4 percent. The German DAX fell 1.7 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gave up 1.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.5 percent.

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