European markets set for higher open, unmoved by crypto plunge and Fed taper talk

  • European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday, dodging concerns over sharp declines in bitcoin and the U.S. Federal Reserve's hints that it could taper its asset purchase programs sooner rather than later.
  • London's FTSE is seen opening 51 points higher at 6,987, Germany's DAX up 60 points at 15,185, France's CAC 40 up 19 points at 6,278 and Italy's FTSE MIB 74 points higher at 24,322, according to IG.

LONDON — European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday, dodging concerns over sharp declines in bitcoin and the U.S. Federal Reserve's hints that it could taper its asset purchase programs sooner rather than later.

London's FTSE is seen opening 51 points higher at 6,987, Germany's DAX up 60 points at 15,185, France's CAC 40 up 19 points at 6,278 and Italy's FTSE MIB 74 points higher at 24,322, according to IG.

The positive open expected in Europe bucks the trend seen in the U.S. this week; U.S. stock futures fell slightly in overnight trading on Wednesday, after major averages registered a third straight day of losses amid a drop in cryptocurrencies.

The moves in futures followed a roller-coaster session on Wall Street, triggered by a sudden drop in bitcoin price, which led to a sharp sell-off in many speculative areas of the market.

Cryptocurrency-linked shares, including Tesla, Coinbase and MicroStrategy, led the market decline as bitcoin tanked as much as 30% Wednesday.

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On Wednesday, global investors also digested the Federal Reserve's minutes from April that hinted at considering tapering its asset purchase programs in upcoming meetings.

More clues on the pace of the U.S.' economic and labor market recovery will come on Thursday when the latest number of U.S. weekly jobless are released. New claims for unemployment benefits are expected to total 452,000 for the week ended May 15, slightly lower than 473,000 in the week prior, according to economists polled by Dow Jones.

Earnings come from EasyJet, Kingfisher, National Grid, Royal Mail, Manchester United and QinetiQ. There are no major data releases Thursday.

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-CNBC's Yun Li contributed to this market report.

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