European markets to open higher ahead of OPEC meeting, BOE to unveil rate decision

European markets are set to open higher Thursday morning amid growing tensions in the oil market ahead of an OPEC meeting that could expand crude production.

The FTSE 100 is seen 23 points higher at 7,659; the CAC is expected to open up around 12 points at 5,390 while the DAX is poised to start 32 points higher at 12,742, according to IG.

Market focus Thursday is largely centered on a meeting of major oil producers taking place in Vienna. Oil-producing nations appeared to inch closer to an output agreement Wednesday although a final decision is not due until Friday.

Energy ministers have gathered in the Austrian capital to determine the future of OPEC’s 18-month-old agreement with Russia and other allied partners to limit production.

Meanwhile, in Asia, equities were up slightly as a lull in Sino-U.S. trade tensions appeared to help soothe market concerns. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, gained 0.4 percent.

Stateside, the absence of new trade threats from President Donald Trump seemed to be enough to stem recent selling, with market participants hopeful an ongoing tit-for-tat dispute will eventually stop short of developing into a full-blown trade war.

Back in Europe, the Bank of England (BOE) is widely expected to hold interest rates steady Thursday, though policymakers at the central bank could lay the groundwork for a rate hike as soon as August.

On the data front, the euro area is scheduled to publish flash consumer confidence data for June at around 3 p.m. London time.

Source: CNBC