European markets set to open higher ahead of ECB rate decision

Big 5
European markets are set to open higher on Thursday morning, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street after congressional leaders unexpectedly agreed to extend the federal government’s borrowing limit until December.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen 12 points higher at 7,357; the German DAX is expected to open up by around 64 points at 12,281 and the French CAC is poised to open 22 points higher at 5,123.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump backed a surprise deal with congressional Democrats to attach hurricane relief money to a three-month extension of both government funding and the debt limit. U.S. stocks rose on the news as the deal appeared to eliminate fears of a near-term government shutdown.

Meantime, the euro continued to eke out gains ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy decision later on Thursday. The single currency has soared around 13 percent this year, the strongest performance among major currencies.

While ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to lay the groundwork regarding the central bank’s stimulus program later in the day, most investors appear to believe he will hold off until October to make any major announcements.

Sticking with Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron is set to make the case for an overhaul of the euro zone on Thursday, as he embarks upon a two-day visit to Athens, Greece. Macron is likely to stress the need for increased financial solidarity with more vulnerable members of the bloc.

Elsewhere, geopolitical tensions concerning the Korean Peninsula continued to cast a shadow over financial markets. Source: CNBC