European Shares to Open Lower; Fed Minutes Drag

European shares are called to open lower Thursday on the back of subdued markets in Asia overnight following disappointment over the lack of any further monetary stimulus from the U.S’ Federal Reserve.

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The FTSE 100 is seen opening lower by 22 points, Germany’s DAX is seen down by 1 points and the CAC 40 lower by 5 points.

Minutes from the Fed’s June meeting showed a reluctance to restart quantitative easing but to continue with Operation Twist where it continues to buy long term bonds with the proceeds of short-term bonds.

The euro zone crisis refuses to go away with further angst in Spain following the announcement by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of a raft of new spending cuts and taxes deepening the austerity measures in the euro zone’s fourth largest economy Wednesday which saw country-wide protests.

In the bloc’s third largest economy, the Bank of Italy’s governor Ignazio Visco called on policymakers to do more to help Italy and urging the country’s banks to raise their capital thresholds and manage credit risks and liquidity.

In earnings news, Europe’s largest food retailer Carrefour reports second quarter sales figures as it warns of a tough retail environment.

With the euro zone crisis affecting its largest markets expectations are low for healthy numbers. The stock has fallen around 27 percent do far this year.

In bond auction news Italy goes to the market tendering up to 8 billion euros ($9.8 billion) in 12 month bills at 11:00 a.m. (CET).