European Stock Futures Edge Higher; Russian Troop Withdrawal Eases Tensions.

European Stock Futures Edge Higher; Russian Troop Withdrawal Eases Tensions.

( European stock markets are expected to open a touch higher Wednesday, continuing in the previous session's positive tone after Russia announced it had pulled some troops back from the Ukraine border.

The move raised hopes that armed conflict in the region could be avoided.

At 2 AM ET (0700 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.2% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.2%.

Global stock markets surged on Tuesday, with both the DAX and the CAC 40 climbing approximately 2%, as the Russian defence ministry published footage to show it was returning some troops to base after exercises.

There are doubts about the significance of the move, with General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's chief, warning that the military alliance has so far "not seen any sign of de-escalation on the ground from the Russian side", while hours after Moscow's announcement, Ukraine said the online networks of its defence ministry and two banks were overwhelmed by a cyber attack.

That said, the market has taken the withdrawal as grounds for optimism, helped by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stating that diplomatic options are "far from exhausted" after meeting Tuesday with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.  

Turning to economic data, U.K. CPI fell slightly on the month in January, down 0.1%, but the annual figure remaining elevated at 5.5%, suggesting pressure will remain on the Bank of England to lift interest rates in the months ahead.

Europe sees the release of industrial production data for December, but the focus is likely to be on the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting, where policymakers in all likelihood debated how quickly it should tighten monetary policy in the months after March.  

In the corporate sector, the earnings season continues, with Heineken (OTC: HEINY) one of the highlights. The second-largest brewer in the world reported higher earnings than expected in 2021, helped by cost savings and by consumers shifting to more expensive beers.

Oil prices stabilized Wednesday after the previous session's sharp losses on the easing of tensions on the Ukraine border. 

Elsewhere, crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, released on Tuesday, showed a draw of just over 1 million barrels for last week. Investors now await crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, due later in the day.

By 2 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% higher at $92.53 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.5% to $93.75. Both benchmarks fell over 3% on Tuesday, the biggest one-day loss this year.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,856.90/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1365.

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