Second half starts, focus on economic data
European markets will open a bit higher on Thursday as global investors cautiously start into the second half of 2021.
The British FTSE 100 opens around 18 points higher at 7,055, the German DAX is expected to rise 67 points to 15,598 and the French CAC 40 will rise around 35 points to 6,543, according to IG data.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed its fifth positive month in a row on Wednesday and started the second half of the year with a year-to-date increase of 13.49%.
The slightly optimistic opening expected in Europe deviates from the overnight trend in the Asia-Pacific region, where markets retreated after a private survey showed that Chinese factory activity growth slowed in June. Asian markets are also hurt by concerns about a surge in coronavirus infections and new lockdowns in the region.
In the United States, stock futures were flat in early pre-trading on Thursday after the S&P 500 closed in gains for a fifth straight month and closed with another new record.
Global investors will be keeping an eye on the latest weekly jobless claims data from the US at 1:30 p.m. London time on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect initial jobless claims to hit 390,000 last week.
This precedes the closely watched job report by the Labor Department on Friday. A Dow Jones poll estimates that 683,000 new jobs were added in June.
Back in Europe, the PMI values (Purchasing Managers’ Index) for the manufacturing sector from the Eurozone and Great Britain are expected for June on Thursday.
In corporate news, Reuters, citing three sources, reported that Credit Suisse was considering reversing the regional distribution of its private banking business in favor of a centralized management structure that would allow the scandal-ridden lender to manage its operations.
Meanwhile, Renault announced ambitious plans for its electric vehicles on Wednesday, incorporating affordable electric versions of some of its classic small cars as the French automaker tries to keep up with Volkswagen in the European EV space.
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