European markets started the new trading week on an uncertain note on Monday as investors reassessed the economic outlook.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.1% by late afternoon, with technology stocks adding 1.3% while chemicals slipped 0.7%.
Global markets have priced in the possibility that the Federal Reserve is preparing to slow the pace of its inflation-fighting rate hikes after last week’s economic data showed a decline in wholesale prices and retail sales.
On Friday, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said he only favored a quarter point hike February 1, when the central bank will give its next interest rate policy update. Waller also said rates are already high enough to slow the economy.
Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, told the World Economic Forum on Friday that the global economic outlook was not as bad as feared a few months ago – “but less bad still does not mean good.”
“We have to be careful” she said during a closing panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos hosted by CNBC.
US Stock Futures little changed Monday morning while shares were higher in Asia overnightbut most markets in the region are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, with Shanghai markets closed all week.