European stocks are set to open lower on Thursday as investors await business surveys ahead of the Easter holiday.
The FTSE is expected to open 21 points lower at 7,450, while the German DAX is set to open 29 points lower at 12,123 and the French CAC index is set to open 14 points lower at 5,549, according to IG.
Investors concerned about a European slowdown are awaiting Thursday’s release of Purchasing Managers Indexes (PMIs), which will be an indicator on the state of the euro zone economy.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan held flat on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei was down by around 0.6%, after data showed new Japanese export orders fell to their lowest in almost three years.
Shares on Wall Street ended Wednesday’s session in negative territory after healthcare stocks plunged, outweighing upbeat economic data from both the U.S. and China.
Currency investors will also be monitoring month-on-month retail sales data from the U.K. and the U.S., which may influence the price of the British pound and the greenback when they are published on Thursday.