European shares are called to open the trading day broadly mixed as negative sentiment via the continued Greek political uncertainty continues to weigh on investors.
The UK’s FTSE 100 is expected to open the day higher by 5 points, and Germany’s DAX is seen up by 20 points, but the CAC in France is called lower by 5 points.
The euro zone agreed at the eleventh hour to authorize a payment of 5.2 billion euros to Greece from the region’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Mechanism, as the leader of Greek leftist party Syriza, Alexi Tspiras failed to form a government coalition. The mandate to do so now passes to the socialist PASOK party. However, chances are slim that PASOK will manage where others have failed, meaning fresh elections in June are seen as ever more likely.
Overnight, Asian shares took a hit as Europe’s political turmoil and concerns about the health of Spanish banks drove shares lower.
The Spanish government announced Wednesday that it had taken control of Bankia, the country’s fourth largest bank, with a 45 percent stake in the troubled lender.
In the UK, the Bank of England's loose monetary policy looks set to be reigned in following higher-than-expected inflation figures—despite the country now being officially back in recession.
Earnings news out of Europe includes Denmark’s Danske bank, Deutsche Telekom, Unicredit and Aegon. Out of the UK, BT Group and Old Mutual are reporting numbers Thursday.