European equities started the week wavering close to record highs, as investors held on to gains banked during a better than expected earnings season while remaining cautious about inflation and potential interest rate rises.

The regional Stoxx 600 index was flat in early dealings. London’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s Dax were also unmoved. Futures contracts tracking Wall Street’s S&P 500 share index were similarly steady.

The Stoxx ended its sixth consecutive week of gains at a record high on Friday, as quarterly results indicated companies were managing to pass higher input costs on to customers.

The annual rate of US consumer price inflation hit a three-decade high of 6.2 per cent last month. The 10-year break even inflation rate, a market measure of where traders expect the rate of price rises to be running at in a decade’s time, also rose to its highest level since 2006 on Friday.

Anatole Kaletsky, founder and chair of…

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