European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday, tracking gains overnight in the Asia-Pacific markets following a rise in the U.S. stock futures. London’s FTSE is seen opening 21 points higher at 6,907, Germany’s DAX up 50 points at 15,235, France’s CAC 40 up 22 points at 6,154 and Italy’s FTSE MIB up 152 points at 24,575, according to IG.
European Stocks Head For Higher Open
A positive start for European stocks comes after similarly upbeat momentum in Asia-Pacific overnight, boosted by U.S. trading; Asia stocks mostly rose in Thursday trade after the S&P 500 nudged higher to a record closing high Wednesday. U.S. stock futures also ticked higher overnight, suggesting Wall Street could extend gains that have propelled the S&P 500 to record levels this week.
Investors appeared placated during Wednesday’s session by the Fed’s latest meeting minutes, which showed that officials plan to keep the pace of asset purchases the same for some time, as the central bank works to support stable prices and maximum employment.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden spoke on Wednesday from Washington about his administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan that includes a corporate tax rate hike to 28%, and noted that he is willing to negotiate on the proposed tax increase. European markets will be boosted by the announcements from the U.K. and European medicines regulators on Wednesday regarding the AstraZeneca/University of Oxford Covid vaccine.
Both regulators said that while a link between the vaccine and very rare blood clotting disorders was possible, the benefits of getting the shot still outweigh its risks. The U.K. said it would give a different Covid vaccine to under-30s in Britain out of caution. On the corporate front, UBS holds its annual general meeting and retailer ASOS releases interim results. On the data front, Germany’s industrial orders for February are due.