European markets open to close; Bank of England interest rate decision
LONDON — European stocks were slightly higher on Thursday, building on gains in the previous session.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.3% in early trade. Retail stocks were the standout performers, rising 2.5%, while telecoms fell 0.4%.
The cautiously positive start for European stocks came after a rally on Wednesday on the back of strong US economic data that tamed investors’ fears of a looming recession. The ISM̵[ads1]7;s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index showed a surprise rise in July, which also sent US stocks climbing.
Such a move would bring borrowing costs to 1.75% as the central bank battles soaring inflation and would be the first half-point increase since it was made independent of the UK government in 1997. The expected increase comes as UK inflation hits new 40-year highest at 9.4% in June.
Elsewhere overnight, Asia-Pacific shares traded higher on Thursday after a rally on Wall Street and as investors moved on from tension surrounding US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures were roughly flat Thursday morning after the major averages took a two-day slide in the previous regular trading session.
Earnings before the bell came from Credit Agricole, Adidas, Bayer, Lufthansa, Merck, Zalando, Rolls-Royce, Next, Glencore and Adecco Group on Thursday.
Lufthansa shares climbed 6% to lead the Stoxx 600 after the German posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Danish medical equipment company Ambu plunged 14% after cutting its margin forecast and announcing it would lay off around 200 employees.