European Markets Near Zero Prior to Central Bank Statements

European markets hovered around the flatline on Monday as investors awaited any indications from the Federal Reserve this week over the expected path of interest rate increases.

On Monday, European markets lingered around the flatline as investors awaited any signals from the Federal Reserve this week over a probable interest rate rise path.

As of 3:20 a.m. EST (0720 GMT), the STOXX 600 index in Europe was just 0.02 percent higher. Following parliamentary elections in France in which President Emmanuel Macron lost his majority in the National Assembly, the CAC 40 slipped into the red.

With U.S. markets closed today in commemoration of the Juneteenth holiday, the Asian trading day has been turbulent. Markets have been attempting to comprehend a spate of large rate raise announcements from central banks across the globe in an effort to tame skyrocketing inflation, with mounting worry that these steps may spark a deeper economic slump.

Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell may provide aggressive testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives. At its most recent meeting, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 75 basis points, the largest increase since 1994. Fed Governor Christopher Waller said over the weekend that he would support another increase of similar magnitude next month.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is expected to address the European Parliament in Brussels later today, after the central bank outlined plans last week to boost interest rates and create a new mechanism to avoid a destabilizing spike in borrowing costs in weaker eurozone nations.

In company news, EasyJet (LON:EZJ) shares declined after the budget airline said it will reduce flights further this summer due to personnel shortages and flight limitations at London Gatwick and Amsterdam. Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) shares climbed in response to a surge in third-quarter revenues at its primary Primark division.

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