European markets head for lower open amid cautious global sentiment

  • European stocks are expected to open lower Thursday amid cautious global sentiment.
  • London's FTSE is expected to open 27 points lower at 7,123, Germany's DAX down 24 points at 15,661, France's CAC 40 down 10 points at 6,513 and Italy's FTSE MIB 52 points lower at 25,112, according to IG.

LONDON — European stocks are expected to open lower Thursday amid a more cautious turn in global sentiment.

London's FTSE is expected to open 27 points lower at 7,123, Germany's DAX down 24 points at 15,661, France's CAC 40 down 10 points at 6,513 and Italy's FTSE MIB 52 points lower at 25,112, according to IG.

The lower open set for Europe reflects cautious sentiment in Asia-Pacific and the U.S., despite the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closing at record highs Wednesday. Overnight, however, futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes fell in early morning trading Thursday.

The U.S. Labor Department's latest jobless claims figures will be a focal point for investors on Thursday. The weekly update offers Wall Street regular insight into the pace of layoffs in the U.S. economy, which has been declining amid the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Economists expect to see 350,000 first-time applicants for unemployment benefits for the week ended July 3, according to Dow Jones.

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Meanwhile, shares in Asia-Pacific mostly declined in Thursday trade, as Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong came under pressure after regulatory fears resurfaced.

Beijing recently announced a stepping up in oversight on Chinese listings in the U.S., many of whom are tech companies. That came after a recent crackdown on ride-hailing giant Didi and other tech firms, which once again raised concerns over the regulatory outlook.

Earnings in Europe on Thursday come from Jet2, Fuller Smith & Turner, Superdry and Manchester Airport Group. German export and import data for May, Dutch inflation data for June and Swiss unemployment figures for June are also released.

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– CNBC's Thomas Franck and Eustance Huang contributed to this report.

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