European shares are expected to open flat Thursday as markets digest the second round of the European Central Bank’s Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) and as Asian shares fell overnight over Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments suggesting there would be no further monetary stimulus.
The FTSE 100 is called 3 points higher, the DAX is also called 3 points higher and the CAC 40 higher by just 2 points.
Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann warned of the ECB’s tactics at stemming the crisis in the euro zone in a letter to ECB president Mario Draghi obtained by German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Weidmann called for stricter collateral rules to be applied.
French presidential candidate Francois Hollande attempted to allay fears of the City of London on his visit to the UK. He insisted he was not “dangerous” but insisted more regulation for the financial sector was needed.
Bond auctions take place for both Spain and France, testing the waters following the ECB’s LTRO which had a take up of 529.5 billion euros ($713 billion), with the former tendering between 3.5 billion and 4.5 billion euros in shorter-dated bonds at 9:30 a.m. GMT (4:30 a.m. New York time). France tenders 7 to 8 billion euros in longer-dated bonds at 9:50 a.m. GMT (4:50 a.m. New York time).
In earnings news WPP will announce results later today as well as Man Group.