European stock markets fell as the euro steadied and investors turned their focus on a European Central Bank meeting Thursday. While analysts reportedly expect benchmark interest rates to be kept unchanged, investors will be looking to the ECB to signal a willingness to ease policy again to boost inflation.
"Today’s ECB meeting is expected to yield little from a policy standpoint, coming off the back of a big shift in policy back in March. However, these meetings always provide Mario Draghi with the stage to push the euro lower, which is likely to be on the agenda given the circa 4 percent gain in EURUSD so far this year,” Joshua Mahony of IG told the Telegraph.
European markets fell in morning trade with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 was down 0.64 percent while London's FTSE 100 was off 0.55 percent and Germany's DAX was lower by 0.39 percent. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.61 percent.
Meanwhile, in Asia, major stock markets were up except for Shanghai’s Composite index, which was down 0.66 percent. China’s Nasdaq-style ChiNext index was down 1.64 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 2.70 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 1.82 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index was up 0.81 percent while in India the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.14 percent.
In the U.S., stock futures on the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones were up marginally while Nasdaq stock futures were down by 0.01 percent.