European stock markets are expected to edge higher at the open Thursday, continuing the recovery from the sharp selloff at the start of the week ahead of the latest policy announcement by the European Central Bank.
At 2 AM ET (0600 GMT), the DAX Futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% higher, CAC 40 Futures in France climbed 0.4% and the FTSE 100 Futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.2%.
This positive start follows on from gains in Asia as well as on Wall Street overnight, rebounding from Monday’s rout on fears the rising Covid cases caused by the highly-transmissible delta variant, starting in Asia and moving into Europe and the U.S., would derail the global economic recovery.
The main focus of investors Thursday will be on the European Central Bank’s policy setting decision, due at 7:45 AM ET (1145 GMT), and the subsequent press conference from President Christine Lagarde.
The central bank recently changed its inflation target, and investors will be looking to see if this changes the course of its monetary policy, particularly after Lagarde earlier this week said the meeting will have “some interesting variations and changes”.
“We think that the ECB will strengthen its forward guidance to signal a longer period of unchanged policy rates and net purchases under the APP [Asset Purchase Program] than markets currently expect,” said Nick Kounis, Head of Financial Markets Research at ABN Amro, in a note.
The FTSE MIB climbed up by 0.79% to 24,875.82. In the cash markets, the DAX Germany was trading up 0.81% to 15,548.17. CAC 40 in France rose by 0.56% to 6,499.60 while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. were down by 0.05% to 6,991.88. ,at the time of writing.