European stocks are called to open lower Thursday as investors take a wait and see approach following concerns about the U.S and Chinese economies.
The FTSE 100 is seen starting the trading day lower by 23 points, Germany's DAX is seen down by 29 points and the CAC lower by 11 points.
Brazil is spearheading a campaign with its fellow BRICS – Russia, India, China and South Africa – countries against what it sees are unfair monetary practices by Europe and the United States, ramping up the tension between the emerging economies and the developed world.
Spain is braced for a general strike ahead of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s budget, due for release on riday. Strikers are protesting against austerity measures being called for to stave off a bailout for the country.
Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al-Naimi spoke out against high oil prices in an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday but gave no indication as to whether supplies would be increased.
The FT also reported that UK Finance Minister George Osborne is facing a revolt within the government over his planned cuts of up to £10 billion pounds ($16 billion) from Britain’s welfare bill.
French oil giant Total could face a bill of up to $10 billion if the gas leak in the North Sea explodes, according to reports of analysts estimates. Total has dismissed suggestions the leak is dangerous.
In earnings news Bumi, the UK-listed Indonesian coal producer, will release its fourth-quarter results. Swedish clothing retailer H&M will release its first-quarter numbers later on Thursday. In the U.S, Research in Motion, makers of the Blackberry smartphone, releases its numbers before the bell.
In bond news, Italy tenders between 6 to 8.25 billion euros of bonds at 9:00am GMT.