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EU markets open lower ahead of more potential interest rate hikes

European markets opened higher on Monday morning ahead of key central bank statements which could hint to more potential interest rate hikes.

Germany’s DAX futures were higher by 0.30%, France’s CAC 40 futures were 0.03% higher and London’s FTSE 100 were also higher by 0.32%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was also 0.42% higher.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is expected to deliver a hawkish testimony to lawmakers in the US House of Representatives. The US central bank raised interest rates by 75 basis points last week – its most since the 90’s in an attempt to calm record high inflation.

Over the weekend, Federal Governor Christopher Waller said he will not be against another hike of that same size next month.

 

Oil prices start the week higher

Oil prices were higher on Monday as oil production in OPEC member Libya remained volatile after blockades by groups in the country’s east.

Brent Crude futures grew by 0.23% valued at $118.38 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were 0.30% higher costing $108.81 a barrel.

The country’s total production is at around 70,000 barrels per day (bpd), the Libyan Oil Minister Mohamed Oun told Reuters on Monday. Libya’s output fell to 100,000 from 150,000bpd, a spokesperson for the oil ministry said last week.

In addition, exports from China, once a major exporter continued to fall, thus raising tight supply fears.

 

Gold futures slightly higher

Gold futures also edged a little higher on Monday, rising by 0.07% and costing $1,842.10/oz.

Platinum futures were also higher, rising by 0.29% and palladium futures surged by nearly 2%. Silver futures were lower on the other hand, dropping by 0.06%.

 

EasyJet cuts more flights to manage operational problems, stocks fall

The British low-cost carrier easyJet said on Monday that it will be cutting more flights during the summer season to help manage operational problems such as staff shortages and flights caps at London Gatwick and Amsterdam.

“The ongoing challenging operating environment has unfortunately continued to have an impact, which has resulted in cancellations … Coupled with airport caps, we are taking pre-emptive actions to increase resilience over the balance of summer, including a range of further flight consolidations in the affected airports, giving advance notice to customers and we expect the vast majority to be rebooked on alternative flights within 24 hours.

“We believe this is the right action for us to take so we can deliver for all of our customers over the peak summer period in this challenging environment,” the company’s CEO, Johan Lundgren said.

The airline expects its capacity in the quarter ending in June to be around 87% of 2019 levels. Last month, easyJet said it expected to operate 90% of 2019 this quarter and around 97% the next. EasyJet stock (EZJ) dropped by nearly 2%.

 

Global airlines expected to see a $9.7 billion loss in 2022 – improvement from $42.1 billion in 2021

In other airline news, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday that global airlines are expected to see a $9.7 billion loss in 2022, this is an improvement from the $42.1 billion loss in 2021.

The forecast for 2022 is around $2 billion better than the previously expected $11.6 billion loss.

“Our industry is now leaner, tougher, and nimbler … Industry-wide profit should be on the horizon in 2023,” the director general of IATA, Willie Walsh said at an annual meeting attended by more than 100 airline leaders.

 

Public sector workers in the UK should not expect above-inflation pay rises – UK minister 

Public sector workers in the UK should not expect above-inflation pay rises, the junior treasury minister Simon Clarke said on Monday.

“We need to be sensible around pay awards … We cannot have inflation-busting pay increases because that will in turn drive the problem we’re trying to sort,” he told Sky News.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Clarke added that above-inflation rises would only worsen general inflation that is predicted to grow above 11% this year.

 

Pfizer to buy 8.1% stake in French vaccines company Valneva

Pfizer has agreed to buy 8.1% stake in the French vaccines company Valneva, which amounts to around $95.24 million. The two companies are partnering to tackle the Lyme disease.

Pfizer announced at the end of April that it plans to initiate the Phase 3 study of VLA5 in the third quarter of 2022. Valneva will now fund 40% of the remaining shared development costs compared to 30% before. Valneva stocks soared by over 17% Monday morning.

 

Top cryptocurrencies are bearish, BTC still above $21,000

Top cryptocurrencies were feeling bullish on Monday morning, however, BTC fell below the $20,000 levels to now $19,899.59.

Ethereum (ETH) rose by 11.26% in the past 24 hours, BNB was 6.07% higher in the last day, Cordano (ADA) was up 3.80% and Solana (SOL) jumped by 8.96%. The popular Elon Musk-endorsed memetoken Dogecoin (DOGE) was 2.63% higher.

 

Elon Musk confirms he is still supporting dogecoin despite lawsuit

Elon Musk and his companies (was hit with a $258 billion lawsuit claiming he is part of a racketeering scheme to pump the dogecoin (DOGE) cryptocurrency price.

The lawsuit was filed by Keith Johnson who claimed Musk and his companies SpaceX and Tesla were all part of a large-scale pyramid scheme designed to control the price of dogecoin while also attempting to convince people online that the cryptocurrency was an authentic and safe investment.

“”[Dogecoin is] simply a fraud whereby ‘greater fools’ are deceived into buying the coin at a higher price,” the lawsuit said.

Following the announcement of the lawsuit, Musk said in a Tweet, that he continues to support the cryptocurrency and is still buying it.

 

Note, cryptocurrency CFD trading is restricted in the UK for all retail clients.

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