European markets set for cautiously optimistic open amid lackluster global sentiment

  • European stocks are expected to open slightly higher on Thursday as global markets pause for breath.
  • London's FTSE is seen opening 6 points higher at 7,086, Germany's DAX 23 points higher at 15,515, France's CAC 40 up 16 points at 6,566 and Italy's FTSE MIB 85 points higher at 25,033, according to IG.

LONDON — European stocks are expected to open slightly higher on Thursday as global stocks appear to lose direction following comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials.

London's FTSE is seen opening 6 points higher at 7,086, Germany's DAX 23 points higher at 15,515, France's CAC 40 up 16 points at 6,566 and Italy's FTSE MIB 85 points higher at 25,033, according to IG.

A lackluster open for Europe follows flat sentiment elsewhere overnight; U.S. stock futures opened flat in overnight trading after the market's comeback rally hit a speedbump on Wednesday and shares in Asia-Pacific struggled for direction in Thursday trade.

Despite Wednesday's pause for breath, the three major indexes are up more than 1% this week, rallying from a sell-off last week after the Federal Reserve heightened inflation expectations and forecast rate hikes as soon as 2023.

Comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell during a Congressional testimony Tuesday reiterated that inflation pressures should be temporary, which seemed to soothe market sentiment.

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Investors await new U.S. jobless claims data set to be released Thursday for the latest outlook on unemployment. In addition, the Fed's annual bank stress test results are scheduled for release after the bell on Thursday. The test examines how banks could fare during various hypothetical economic downturns.

In the U.K., investors will be watching the Bank of England announce its latest interest rate decision on Thursday, and on the corporate front, Siemens Capital Markets Day is on Thursday and Manchester United releases third-quarter results.

Meanwhile, Germany's Ifo Institute releases its latest economic survey for June and Dutch and Spanish first-quarter GDP numbers.

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– CNBC's Hannah Miao contributed reporting to this story.

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