European Stock Futures Edge Higher; UBS, HSBC Release Earnings

European stock markets are expected to open marginally higher Tuesday, continuing the previous session’s positive tone as investors digest quarterly earnings from the banking sector ahead of the release of a key guide of German business sentiment.

At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.6% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%.

European equity markets started the week strongly, with both the DAX and the CAC 40 posting gains of 1.6% on Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street as investors bet that a pronounced economic slowdown could push the Federal Reserve into softening its hawkish stance.

Aside from central bank decisions, with the European Central Bank widely expected to lift interest rates again on Thursday, investors are focussing on the quarterly corporate earnings season, with investment banks reporting this week.

Swiss banking giant UBS reported a 24% fall in third-quarter net profit on a decline in market activity, although it beat expectations due to a rise in client funds.

London-based rival HSBC reported a 42% drop in third-quarter pretax profits on the back of losses on the sale of its French unit and rising bad loans, but its interest income surged with rates rising around the world.

Elsewhere, Swiss drugmaker Novartis revealed a drop of 4% in quarterly operating income as competition weighed on prescriptions of multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya, while Norwegian aluminum producer Norsk Hydro posted third-quarter profits well above expectations.

Additionally, business software maker SAP reported slower-than-expected revenue growth and a drop in profits for the third quarter.

Investors will also study the October release of the German Ifo business climate indicator, which is expected to show another drop in confidence in the Eurozone’s largest economy.

Germany is headed for recession as the energy standoff with Russia, rising prices and supply bottlenecks take their toll.

Oil prices edged higher Tuesday, helped by dollar selling, but gains were limited by continued concerns of slowing global demand growth, particularly from China, the world’s largest importer of crude.

The U.S. dollar index edged lower in early trade, making dollar-denominated commodities, including oil, less expensive for foreign buyers.

The latest estimate of U.S. crude oil inventories, from the American Petroleum Institute, is due later in the session, and is expected to rise this week after last week’s surprise 1.3 million barrel fall.

By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $84.66 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.1% to $91.31.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,652.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded flat at 0.9874.

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