LONDON – European stocks are poised for a quiet opening as investors digest another round of corporate earnings and the US Federal Reserve’s reiteration of its accommodative policy stance.
The UK FTSE 100 is expected to open around 6 points lower at 7,011, the German DAX is seen around 29 points lower at 15,541 and the French CAC 40 is expected to drop around 7 points to 6,602, according to IG data. .
Asia-Pacific equities broadly rose overnight as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index continued to rebound strongly after falling two days earlier in the week.
US equity futures point to a flat open after the Fed left interest rates and asset purchases unchanged. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell warned at a press conference on Wednesday that although the economy has grown, it still has some way to go before the central bank seeks to tighten its accommodative monetary policy.
Thursday’s European trading session will be guided by another exceptional day for corporate profits. Credit Suisse, Shell, Total, Volkswagen and Airbus are just a few of the big names reporting results.
Credit Suisse posted a net profit of 253 million Swiss francs ($ 278.3 million) for the three-month period ending in June, falling short of expectations from its own analyst survey. The Swiss lender also announced that an investigation into its relationship with collapsed US hedge fund Archegos Capital revealed multiple failings but no “fraudulent or illegal behavior”.
Volkswagen raised its profit margin target for the second time in less than three months on the basis of record profits in the first half of the year, with Europe’s largest automaker now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. A Volkswagen-led consortium will also launch a € 2.9 billion ($ 3.4 billion) takeover bid for French car rental company Europcar, the company said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Vivendi’s gem, Universal Music Group, posted strong results two months ahead of its scheduled IPO in Amsterdam, pushing Vivendi up 49% to its first half profit base.
In other news, England removed quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated visitors to the EU and US after August 2, providing a boost to European travel and airline stocks. France was excluded, to the chagrin of Paris.
On the data front, a survey of the Eurozone business climate in July is expected at 10:00 a.m. London time, along with readings of economic, industry and services sentiment, as well as final consumer and consumer confidence. inflation expectations.
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