European markets are set to open lower on Thursday morning as investors continue to weigh current political uncertainties and target fresh corporate earnings.
The FTSE 100 is seen off by 11 points at 7,109, the CAC 40 is expected to open 20 points lower at 4,987 and the DAX is set to begin trading off by 45 points at 11,977.
Geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea continue after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the U.S. was looking at new ways to pressure the rogue state. Meanwhile, he also accused Iran of “alarming ongoing provocations” to disturb countries in the Middle East.
In Europe, opinion polls show that the race to elect the next French president is too close to call with both leading candidates losing momentum ahead of Sunday’s first-round vote.
In corporate news, Eurotunnel, Pernod-Ricard, Danone, Sky, Unilever, ABB, Actelion and Nestle are due to report their latest earnings figures. Elsewhere, Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from sanctions on Russia to drill in the Black Sea in a venture with Russian state oil company Rosneft, the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors will gather in the U.S. where the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank begin their routine spring meetings. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim will address the media at 2:30 p.m.
London time and 1:45 p.m. London time respectively. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is also speaking at the Institute of International Finance event at 4.30 p.m. London time.