European markets are seen opening the trading day higher on the back of U.S Federal Reserve comments and robust corporate earnings reports.
The FTSE 100 is seen higher by 12 points, Germany’s DAX up by 2 points and the French CAC higher by 6 points.
Markets globally were boosted by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke confirming that the easy monetary policy in the U.S would stay in place for now, as it was “more or less in the right place,” and there would be no interest rate rise until at least late 2014.
Earnings being watched Thursday include oil majors Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publically traded oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell. Exxon raised its quarterly dividend Wednesday by 21 percent. AstraZeneca, the UK’s second largest drug company, also reports numbers as do Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Bayer.
Media reports suggest the UK’s state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is considering selling its spin-off mergers and acquisitions business to some of its top bankers.
Spain’s banks are sufficiently capitalized and profitable to withstand economic turbulence, the IMF said Wednesday, though 10 state-backed banks are considered weaker.
President Barack Obama’s camp announced that his re-election campaign would start in early May with a series of political rallies as he heads toward November’s election with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. GOP contender Newt Gingrich withdrew from the nomination race.