LONDON — European stocks were mixed on Thursday amid market concerns around the region’s inflation outlook.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade, with oil and gas dropping 1.4% while travel and leisure stocks gained 0.7%.

The flat trade for European markets comes amid investor concerns over the inflation outlook in the region; data released on Wednesday showed euro zone inflation at 4.1% year-on-year in October, more than double the European Central Bank‘s target.

In its biannual stability report published Wednesday, the ECB warned of stretched valuations in property and financial markets, as the region continues to recover from the Covid pandemic on the back of ultra-low interest rates and massive stimulus measures.

Meanwhile, U.K. consumer price index (CPI) came in at 4.2% in the 12 months to October — its highest in almost a decade as energy and automotive costs soared. The data is expected to add pressure on the Bank of England to act on interest rates at its December meeting. 

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U.S. stock futures were flat in overnight trading after the major averages pulled back on Wednesday. Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Thursday, following the overnight losses on Wall Street, and as shares in Japan, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland struggled for gains.

Global markets will be keeping an eye on the latest economic data out of the U.S. on Thursday as the Labor Department will report last week’s jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting initial filings for unemployment insurance fell to 260,000 for the week ending Nov. 13, from the previous week’s 267,000 claims.

Earnings in focus

Corporate earnings before the bell came from Thyssenkrupp, Royal Mail and the National Grid.

Royal Mail shares jumped more than 6% to lead the Stoxx 600 after the British postal giant announced that it will return £400 million ($539.8 million) to shareholders, and upped its full-year earnings outlook, following a strong first half.

Thyssenkrupp shares climbed 4% in early trade after the German conglomerate beat profit expectations and lifted its 2022 outlook.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, shares of British manufacturing group Rotork fell more than 8% after its trading update.

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— CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald contributed to this market report.

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