European Stock Futures Higher; Evergrande Coupon News Helps

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Investing.com – European stock markets are expected to open higher Friday, helped by gains in Asia on reports that embattled property group China Evergrande was set to pay interest on a dollar bond, just in time to avoid a formal default.

At 2:10 AM ET (0610 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded largely flat, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.5% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.3%.

China Evergrande Group (HK:3333) remitted $83.5 million in coupon payments to a trustee account at Citibank on Thursday, according to a report from Reuters, meaning the deeply indebted company will be able to pay interest to all bondholders before the expiry of a 30-day grace period on Oct. 23.

Back in Europe, U.K. retail sales fell by 0.2% on the month in September, dropping 1.3% on the year, a weaker result than expected, with the country seeing a surging number of Covid infections, including a slowly increasing number of hospitalizations and deaths.

Also of interest later Friday will be the release of October PMI data for Germany, France, the U.K. and the European Union.

In the corporate sector, Renault (PA:RENA) will be in the spotlight after the French auto giant warned that its production losses in 2021 because of a global semiconductor chip shortage would be far larger than previously forecast.

Evidence of the difficulties facing the semiconductor sector came from U.S. company Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) late Thursday, when it issued a weaker than expected sales report late Thursday citing an industry-wide chip shortage for its revenue miss.

On the flip side, Remy Cointreau ‘s (PA:RCOP) sales rose by a stronger-than-expected 23.7% in the second quarter, boosted by strong demand for its premium cognac in the United States, China and Europe. 

Late Thursday, L’Oreal posted better-than-expected third-quarter revenue growth, with the world’s largest cosmetics company boosted by continued strong demand from Chinese consumers.

Crude prices edged lower Friday, continuing the previous session’s selling after Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated that a group of top producers, known as OPEC+, could increase supply by more than had previously been announced.

Still, these comments came after oil rallied to the highest level since 2014 earlier this week as a global energy crunch, prompted by coal and gas shortages in China, India and Europe, led to power providers switching to diesel and fuel oil. This has coincided with a broader economic recovery from the pandemic. 

By 2:10 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% lower at $81.81 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.9% to $83.86.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,788.35/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1625.

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