The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.4% in early trade, with telecoms jumping 1.5% to lead gains while autos fell 0.3%.
It’s a busy day for Europe’s markets, with Total, Shell and Airbus among the companies reporting earnings before the bell.
Market focus has been dominated by the U.S. central bank and earnings reports this week. At the end of a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said that it would hold interest rates near zero.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the recovery is “uneven and far from complete.” He added that it’s still not time to discuss reducing policy accommodation, including asset purchases.
Thursday is the busiest day of the U.S. earnings season, with roughly 11% of the S&P 500 slated to provide quarterly updates. Caterpillar, McDonald’s, Comcast and Merck are among the names on deck before the market opens, whereas Amazon and Twitter will post quarterly results after the market closes.
U.S. economic data on Thursday will give investors an update on the progress of the economic recovery. Initial jobless claims numbers will be released, with economists surveyed by Dow Jones expecting a print of 528,000. Pending home sales figures will also be released.
News Source: cnbc