European stocks seen slightly higher after Fed signals no more rate hikes this year

Big 5

European stocks are set to open slightly higher Thursday morning, after the U.S. Federal Reserve took a more accommodative stance at its policy meeting.

The FTSE 100 is seen 19 points higher at 7,310, the CAC is expected to open up around 17 points at 5,399, while the DAX is poised to start 11 points higher at 11,614, according to IG.

At the end of a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, the U.S. central bank abandoned forecasts for any interest rate hikes this year amid signs of an economic downturn.The Fed also said it would halt the decline of its balance sheet in September.

Market participants were buoyed by the Fed’s dovish stance, but the reasons behind it caused some concern.

Ahead of the resumption of U.S.-China trade talks next week, President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that Washington would be prepared to leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure Beijing’s compliance with any trade deal.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, rose 0.5 percent. Markets in Tokyo are closed on Thursday for a public holiday.

Brexit chaos

Back in Europe, British Prime Minister Theresa May told the public on Wednesday that she is “on their side” amid Brexit negotiations, laying the blame for the country’s delayed exit squarely with Parliament.

The embattled prime minister said British citizens were “tired of infighting and political games” and it was “high time” U.K. lawmakers decided on the next steps.

Earlier on Wednesday, May had written to European Council President Donald Tusk to formally request to delay Brexit until June 30. Until the law is changed, Britain is scheduled to leave the EU next Friday.

On the data front, annualized U.K. retail sales figures for February will be released at around 9:30 a.m. London time. The Bank of England (BOE) is due to announce its latest interest rate decision at midday.

Source: CNBC

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