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European markets head for higher open; big Bank of England hike expected

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LONDON — European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday, building on gains made in the previous session.

The U.K.’s FTSE index is seen 7 points higher at 7,411, Germany’s DAX is expected to open 52 points higher at 13,634, France’s CAC 40 up 8 points at 6,481 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 38 points higher at 22,601, according to data from IG.

The positive open for European stocks comes after gains on Wednesday on the back of strong U.S. economic data that tamed investor fears of a looming recession. The ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers index showed a surprise rebound in July also prompting U.S. stocks to climb.

There’s a tepid start expected for the U.K.’s FTSE on Thursday with the market jittery ahead of the Bank of England‘s next monetary policy decision. The central bank is broadly expected to hike interest rates by 50 basis points, its largest single increase since 1995.

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Elsewhere overnight, Asia-Pacific shares traded higher on Thursday following the rally on Wall Street yesterday and as investors move on from the tensions over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures inched downward Wednesday evening despite the major averages snapping a two-day slide earlier in the trading session.

There are no major European data releases Thursday but earnings are expected from Credit Agricole, Adidas, Bayer, Lufthansa, Merck, Zalando, Rolls-Royce, Next, Glencore and Adecco Group.

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