Europe Economy

FTSE, CAC, DAX Seen Higher After Central Banks' Action

European stocks were called to open higher on Thursday, tracking Asia overnight where stocks rose after the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada, Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank cut the cost of US dollar liquidity swaps to ease a potential US dollar funding crisis in the European banking sector.

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The FTSE is called 19 points higher, the DAX in Frankfurt is expected to open up by 35 points and the CAC 40 is called 15 points higher.

Asian stock markets were up across the board despite Chinese factory output PMI data falling from 50.4 to 49 and missing a forecast of 49.7.

However, China's central bank has made efforts to shore up the economy in light of a global economic slowdown, by cutting bank reserve requirements for the first time in three years.

The coordinated action by central banks to provide cheaper dollar funding to avoid a 'liquidity crunch' for Europe's troubled banks has had a positive impact on global markets, but it is unlikely to detract from the need for European leaders to resolve core issues within the euro zone and ease the debt crisis.

Britain was in the spotlight on Wednesday as two million public sector workers took to the streets in the biggest coordinated strike action since the 'Winter of Discontent' industrial action in 1978/79.

The respected Institute for Fiscal Studies also warned on Wednesday that the UK faces a "lost decade" for living standards due to the global financial crisis, slow domestic growth and government spending cuts.

The average British household is likely to see a 7.4 percent decline in real net income to 2013, the IFS said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed a move by coffee retailer Starbucks to create 5000 new jobs in the UK over the next 5 years as it plans to expand its drive-thru stores to 200 from the current nine.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will present the 2010 ECB Annual Report to the European Parliament at 8:00 UK time and is expected to outline his view of the role the central bank can play in the current crisis.

European foreign ministers are also due to meet on Thursday with the diplomatic fall-out between Iran and the UK likely to dominate the agenda.

Spain and France will both hold bond auctions on Thursday with results of Spain's 3 year and 5 year bond sales expected around 9:40 London time.

In France, the treasury will auction 20 year bonds, estimated to be around 5-6 billion euros.

Economic data to watch on Thursday includes French manufacturing data at 8:50 UK time, followed by Germany at 8:55 and the euro zone at 9:00.

British manufacturing figures for November will be available from 9:30 and the Bank of England Governor Mervyn King will unveil the latest Financial Stability Report at 10:30.

Europe's largest home improvement retailer Kingfisher beat forecasts with a 14 percent rise in third quarter earnings, while UK brewer Greene King recorded a 5.6 percent jump in half year profit.