European Shares May See Subdued Start
BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks may open flat to slightly lower on Thursday as investors ponder the economic impact of Brexit.
The dollar hovered near a nine-day high against major rivals after upbeat U.S. housing data and comments from several Federal Reserve officials helped raise expectations of additional U.S. rate increases this year.
Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren argued overnight that the central bank should raise interest at rates every other meeting this year, meaning rate hikes in June, September and December.
On the other hand, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he supports another one or two increases this year.
The euro sagged after reports emerged that ECB officials are wary of altering their dovish message before June. The pound also fell as the U.K. faces a lengthy period of uncertainty after the triggering of Article 50.
The focus may also turn to French politics after former Prime Minister Manuel Valls told BFM TV he would vote for Emmanuel Macron in the coming presidential election.
Asian stocks are trading mostly lower as oil prices dipped after two days of gains and investors assessed the possible effects of a hard Brexit.
Chinese stocks led regional losses to extend the downtrend for a fourth day on concerns over tightening liquidity and stepped-up regulation in the property market.
Oil prices remain flat to slightly lower in Asian deals after surging more than 2 percent to close at a three-week high overnight in the wake of supportive EIA inventory figures.
In economic releases, economic sentiment survey results from the euro area, consumer price inflation figures from Germany and U.S. data on weekly jobless claims and fourth-quarter GDP are slated for release later in the day.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed mostly higher as gains in energy stocks offset losses in the financial sector. The Dow slid 0.2 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.1 percent.
European markets ended Wednesday's session modestly higher after British Prime Minister Theresa May formally notified the European Commission of the U.K.'s intention to withdraw from the union.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.3 percent. The German DAX and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both rose by 0.4 percent while France's CAC 40 index gained half a percent.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX