European markets set to open lower as investors look to the ECB for clues on bonds

Major European bourses look ready to begin Thursday’s trade in the red.

The Italian MIB is expected to lead the drop, and is set to open down 46 points at 23,593. The German DAX is seen 21 points lower at 13,423, while the U.K. FTSE is anticipated to fare similarly, 20 points down at 7,637. The French CAC’s losses look likely to be the least painful, 9 points lower at 5,492.

European markets are awaiting key economic updates Thursday. The European Central Bank is scheduled to render its latest monetary policy decision at 13:45 CET. Investors will also watch the subsequent press conference with ECB President Mario Draghi for clues on when the institution may end its bond-buying program.

The closely watched German ifo Business Climate Index is also out Thursday.

With regard to European corporate news, British drinks company Diageo is to release its interim results. French luxury group LVMH will also release its 2017 full year trading statement. Norwegian bank Nordea will publish its fourth quarter and full year earnings.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to address the World Economic Forum’s Annual Conference at Davos, Switzerland, Thursday afternoon.

Global trade advocate Emmanuel Macron spoke at the event Wednesday, saying that “globalization is going through a major crisis,” and that solutions are necessary if global trade is going to work for all.

“France is back at the core of Europe,” he added, making a nod to the country’s rising profile on the international stage.

Asian markets were trading in negative territory Thursday while the U.S. dollar nursed losses following Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comments that a weaker greenback was positive for the country.

The U.S. is set for a slew of fourth-quarter financial results Thursday, with American Airlines, chip-maker Intel, and military hardware maker Raytheon among those reporting. Source: CNBC