- US futures inched higher Friday, ahead of key consumer inflation data later on.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases November CPI, which could show the biggest jump in 40 years.
- Hotter inflation could cause the Fed to increase the pace of tapering, one analyst said.
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US stock futures marked modest gains Friday, after the benchmark S&P 500 index closed the previous day on a sour note, as investors awaited inflation data later in the day that could put more pressure on the Federal Reserve to clamp down on rising prices.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its consumer price index for November, which analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect to have risen by 6.8% compared with the previous year. This would be the biggest jump since June 1982, according to Bloomberg data. October inflation already hit a 31-year high of 6.2%.
"We can see today's report as a proxy for next week's Federal Reserve meeting, because the hotter inflation, the more pressure it piles on the Fed to increase their pace of tapering," Matt Simpson, analyst at City Index, said.
Asian stocks broadly fell overnight after Fitch Ratings said it considered embattled Chinese property developer Evergrande to be in default.
"A massive debt restructuring exercise now beckons for China's more highly leveraged property developers, raising fears that China growth will take a dip next year. That will be enough to keep Asian currencies and regional stock markets nervous," Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, currency data provider said.
In Europe, the pan-continental Stoxx 600 index was down 0.35%. The FTSE 100 eased 0.1% as employees were encouraged to work from home from Monday because of the Omicron variant and after data showed the UK economy virtually ground to a halt in October, expanding by just 0.1% month-over-month, the slowest pace in three months, and below expectations for 0.4%.
Cryptocurrencies slid again, driven lower by the prospect of another boost to the dollar from a strong inflation reading later on, and given the caution towards risk assets because of the Omicron virus variant. Bitcoin fell 1.75%, ether 4.42%, solana's sol lost 5.4% and cardano's ada fell 4.4%.