European Stocks Seen Following Fed-Driven Rally

Financial bookmakers expect the leading European benchmark indexes to rally on Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it would not raise interest rates any time soon.

Sharon Lorimer

Financial spreadbetters expect Britain's FTSE 100 to open around 35 points higher, or 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX to open around 68 points higher, or 0.9 percent, and France's CAC-40 to open around 33 points higher, or 0.8 percent.

Strong corporate earnings in the auto and technology sector helped European shares rise on Wednesday, with an expected confirmation of loose U.S. monetary policyadding to the bullish outlook for equities.

The euro zone April retail purchasing managers index is due on Thursday, as well as UK April consumer price data.

Later in the day, the focus will shift to first-quarter GDP data out of the United States.

Figures released on Wednesday showed the UK economy grew by 0.5 percent in the first quarter from the fourth quarter. The figures appeared better-than-expected but will raise renewed questions surrounding a possible interest rate hike by the Bank of England.

"I think this recovery was always going to be quite patchy," Ross Walker, UK Economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland told CNBC. "The growth data will inevitably be bumpy and we're just going to have to get used to this," he said.