European stocks are seen opening on a steady note Wednesday as investors await the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision later in the day.
While markets expect another 25-bps rate hike, the accompanying statement as well as Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference will be scrutinized for whether the U.S. central bank has reacted the end of its rate-hike cycle.
The European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BoE) will review their monetary policies on Thursday, and both are expected raise their key policy rates by 50 bps.
Asian markets were broadly higher after two surveys showed Chinese factory activity increased in January.
While the official manufacturing PMI swung to expansion from a 34-month low in the previous month, the Caixin survey showed that factory activity shrank more slowly than in the previous month.
The dollar was on the edge and gold traded flat while oil steadied near three-week lows on signs of higher U.S. demand and ahead of the OPEC+ meeting.
U.S. stocks rose overnight, and Treasury yields fell as weak labor costs, consumer confidence and business activity data bolstered expectations of the Fed slowing its interest-rate increases.
The Dow climbed 1.1 percent, the S&P 500 jumped 1.5 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.7 percent.
European stocks fell on Tuesday despite solid Eurozone GDP data for the fourth quarter and better-than-expected earnings from the likes of UniCredit and UBS.
The pan European STOXX 600 eased 0.3 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent while the German DAX and France’s CAC 40 index both edged up marginally.
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