European stocks are set to open lower again Friday as investors continue to eye developments in global crude markets and prepare for a series of key activity data releases from the currency area.
Britain's FTSE 100 is poised to slip around 17 points, or 0.24%, at the opening bell, according to financial bookmakers IG, with gains being held down by both a firmer pound and softer oil and energy stocks.
The slip will likely erase all of the benchmark's U.S. dollar adjusted gains for the past year, on the anniversary of Britain's decision to leave the European Union, putting it firmly behind Germany's DAX performance index, which has risen 22.3% and Spain's IBEX 35, which has gained 18% in U.S. dollar terms.
IHS Markit will release its first estimate of economic activity data from the core Eurozone later this morning, with investors looking to see if the pace of expansion will exceed the six year highs the group's PMI reading recorded in May and assessing any changes in price dynamics amid the steep decline in global crude prices.
Oil markets, however, were modestly firmly this morning after West Texas Intermediate crude futures for August delivery rose 0.3% in Asia trading to $42.87 per barrel by the start of the European session. Brent contracts for the same month, the global benchmark, were seen 0.35% higher at $45.40.
Regional stocks also edged higher overnight, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index creeping 0.01% into positive territory by 06:45 London time, lifting the benchmark to a 0.4% weekly gain. Japan's b was set for a solid 1% gain over the past five days into the close of trading after rising to a two-year high earlier in the week.
Early indications from U.S. equity futures point to modest gains on Wall Street later today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average set to rise 15 points, or 0.07%, at the opening bell and slightly firmer 0.1% gains priced in for the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq.