European Stocks Braced For Mixed Opening

European markets may follow their U.S. and Asian peers, but with a mixed opening on Thursday. Positive impact of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting was reflected on Wall Street.

Further, the investors are looking ahead to an OPEC meeting later in the day, which is widely expected to extend output cuts, possibly by as long as 12 months, to help clear global stocks overhang. In an accord reached in December, OPEC and 11 non-members agreed to cut oil output by about 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017.

The minutes from the U.S central bank’s May 2-3 policy meeting showed that the Fed would gradually raise rates and wind down its $4.5 trillion of mortgage-backed bond holdings and longer-term U.S. government bonds.

The minutes were said to be consistent with another hike in June, but according to a Reuters report, the policymakers also agreed to hold off on raising interest rates until they knew a recent US economic slowdown was temporary.

On Wednesday, the European Central Bank published its latest Financial Stability Review report, in which the bank suggested that debt sustainability concerns had risen over the past six months amid a potential uptick in yields.

Asian stock markets closed higher on Thursday, following the positive lead overnight from Wall Street.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index was adding points or 0. 37 percent to 19,815.48. China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.81% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.81%

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 14.50 points or 0.25 percent to 5,783.50.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan were all higher. The markets in Indonesia are closed on Thursday for the Ascension Day holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks extended their winning streak to five sessions on Wednesday following the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 74.51 points or 0.36…

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