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European markets to open lower; investors await Bank of England policy decision

European markets are poised to open lower Thursday as investors assess geopolitical developments and look ahead to the Bank of England’s latest policy decision.

The FTSE 100 is set to open 14 points lower at 7,391; the German DAX is expected lower by 17 points at 12,506; and the French CAC is on track to open down by 3 points at 5,205.

North Korea said on Wednesday that it would redouble its efforts to fight off what it called the threat of a U.S. invasion after being hit by a new set of sanctions from the United Nations over its nuclear missile tests. Meanwhile, Russia and Belarus are set to begin a week of strategic military exercises Thursday.

Sterling will be in focus Thursday as investors look to the Bank of England and how it plans to navigate higher inflation and the ongoing impact of Brexit on the U.K. economy.

The U.K.’s Chancellor Philip Hammond said Wednesday that Britain would reject “protectionist” agendas from the EU as it looks to determine its new relationship outside of the bloc. The central bank’s decision is expected at 11 a.m. London time.

Also on the agenda, British retailers Next, John Lewis and Morrisons will be reporting interim results.

Oil prices moved higher in Asian trade after the International Energy Agency said Wednesday that the global surplus of oil was beginning to abate as demand grows. The organization upgraded its demand forecast for 2017 to 1.6 million barrels per day. Brent was at $55.01 per barrel early Thursday, WTI was at $49.21. Source: CNBC

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