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European stocks set to open flat as global markets await key U.S. inflation data

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LONDON — European stocks are expected to open around the flatline on Thursday as global investors are awaiting the latest reading of U.S. inflation.

The U.K.’s FTSE index is seen opening 5 points lower at 7,637, Germany’s DAX up 9 points at 15,480, France’s CAC 40 up 18 points at 7,142 and Italy’s FTSE MIB down 1 point at 27,103, according to data from IG.

Global investors are awaiting inflation data out Thursday, with the U.S. Labor Department set to release January’s consumer price index figures.

The inflation data is expected to show that prices rose 0.4% in January, for a 7.2% gain from one year ago, which would be the highest in almost 40 years. The reading follows a stronger-than-expected January jobs report, which has led to speculation that the Federal Reserve could be more aggressive when it comes to hiking rates.

U.S. stock futures were slightly higher on Wednesday night ahead of key inflation data while shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed.

Earnings come from Credit Suisse, Unilever, Siemens, Zurich Insurance, AstraZeneca and Soci?t? G?n?rale on Thursday with data releases including Turkey’s unemployment rate for December.

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