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European markets open to closing, data, ECB decision

LONDON – European equities are expected to open lower ahead of the latest interest rate decision by the European Central Bank on Thursday.

Britain’s FTSE index is seen opened 32 points lower at 7,554, Germany’s DAX down 75 points at 14,360, France’s CAC 40 down 35 points at 6,403, and Italy’s FTSE MIB 156 points lower at 24,062, according to data from IG.

European markets will be focused on the forthcoming monetary policy meeting and the ECB̵[ads1]7;s decision on Thursday. The central bank is expected to confirm its intention to raise interest rates next month. The movement comes after inflation for the euro area with 19 members reached another record in May.

The markets will wait for ECB President Christine Lagarde’s press conference after the meeting to measure how aggressively the bank can act.

Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Thursday trading, with investors looking for market reactions to China’s trading data for May, which exceeded expectations. Meanwhile, US stock futures were flat in overnight trading on Wednesday after the large averages ended the ordinary session lower and US government interest rates rose.

Investors continued on Wednesday to look for signs of declining economic growth ahead of the May consumer price index reading, which is scheduled for Friday. The figures are expected to fall slightly below the April figures and may indicate that inflation has reached its peak.

There are no major earnings or data releases on Thursday.

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