European Stock Futures Higher; Fed Tapering Plan Helps

European stock markets are expected to open higher Thursday, following Wall Street upwards after the Federal Reserve delayed tapering to later in the year while concerns over heavily indebted Chinese property group Evergrande eased.

At 2:05 AM ET (0605 GMT), the DAX Futures contract in Germany traded 0.6% higher, CAC  40 Futures in France climbed 0.8% and the FTSE 100 Futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.8%.

The major European indices are expected to follow Wednesday’s positive lead from Wall Street, as all the major U.S. equity averages all closed firmly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for example, climbed well over 300 points, or 1%.

That said, the Fed turned more hawkish in terms of interest rates, with nine of 18 Fed officials – up from seven at the June meeting – ready to raise interest rates next year in response to higher levels of inflation. Inflation has run ahead of expectations this year, but the Fed still expects it to revert to more normal levels later.

Also helping the tone were solid gains in Chinese markets Thursday,  after the People’s Bank of China injected more money into the banking system, easing concerns about the fallout from China Evergrande’s debt crisis. The stricken real estate developer said Wednesday it had reached an agreement to settle interest payments on a domestic bond, but it remains unclear whether the company will be able to pay $83.5 million in  interest on its dollar bonds which is due later Thursday.

Back in Europe, the announces its latest monetary policy decision later in the session, but the central bank is not expected to change its record-low interest rates or the extent of its asset purchases. The central banks of Norway and Turkey may, however, raise their interest rates.

The FTSE MIB climbed up by  1.44% to 25,717.00. In the cash markets, the DAX  Germany was trading up 1.03%  to 15,506.65. CAC 40  in France  rose by 1.29% to 6,637.37 while the FTSE 100  in the U.K. were up  by 1.47% to 7,083.35. ,at the time of writing.

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