European Shares Set for Gains, GDP Data Eyed

European stocks are expected to open higher despite a negative session in Asia anb following another volatile trading session for commodities on Thursday.

Sharon Lorimer

The dollar is broadly higher in overnight trade while WTI crude is again trading below $100 a barrel as investors digest some of the most volatile trading for commodities since 2008.

First quarter gross domestic product data from across the euro zone will be released Friday morning.

The French government released some data earlier, with Prime Minister Francois Fillon telling a TV station on Thursday that the economy grew by more than 0.8 percent in the first 3 months of 2011.

Dow Jones reported that the flash estimate was 1 percent, compared with expectations of 0.6 percent.

Germany is expected to have performed better than France with growth of 0.9 percent, that data due one hour before the market open at 7 am London time.

Airbus owner EADS said revenue increased 10 percent in the first quarter. Credit Agricole and ThyssenKrupp will report earnings before the bell.

At 7 am London time the London Stock Exchange reports earnings.