European markets are expected to open relatively mixed on Thursday, as earnings season and political turbulence in the region continue to shake up investor sentiment.
Looking to the major bourses, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 is expected to open 3 points lower at 7,540, while the German DAX is set to start on a positive note, up 11 points at 13,054 and the French CAC down 3 points at 5,380, according to IG.
Earnings will be in focus during Thursday’s trading day, as several leading European corporates are set to report their most recent figures.
Prior to the market open, Roche posted strong sales growth for the first nine months of 2017, and confirmed its outlook for the year in its latest earnings release.
Sticking with Swiss companies, Nestle published its nine-month sales report, which saw the consumer group confirm its sales guidance for the year and reported a 2.6 percent increase in organic growth for the entire group, which was in line with a Reuters poll.
Meantime, despite facing significant currency headwinds, Germany’s SAP raised its full-year outlook and saw its total revenue for the third quarter come in at 5.59 billion euros ($6.59 billion), up 8 percent on a constant currency basis.
Unilever, Philips Lighting and Publicis have also reported earnings before the open; while Michelin and AccorHotels are expected to post corporate information during the day.
In data news, retail sales data for the U.K. is due out in morning trade.
Switching focus to politics, Brexit and Catalonia are both expected to be at the front of investors’ minds on Thursday, as new events emerge.
Thursday will mark the second deadline for Catalonia to officially declare independence. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said he would be ready to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution if the declaration is not withdrawn.
Meanwhile in Brussels, the first day of the EU Summit is set to commence, where leading members of the European Union are set to meet in the Belgian capital. One key topic which is expected to be up for discussion during the two-day summit will be that of how the Brexit negotiations are coming along.
On Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk said he wasn’t expecting any breakthroughs when it comes to talks over Britain’s exit from the political economic bloc; Reuters reported.
In international markets, major indexes in Asia traded mixed on Thursday, as investors pored over the latest economic data from China, including GDP figures for the third quarter, which met analyst expectations.
Elsewhere, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 23,000 for the first time on Wednesday.
Europe set for mixed open as investors look to earnings, Catalonia deadline