LONDON (The Deal) -- European stock markets made a tentative recovery during the course of Thursday morning after more carnage in Asia, as investors looked to commentary later Thursday from European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi for comfort about the monetary outlook.
After a day in which several indices, including benchmarks in the U.K. and France, officially entered bear territory -- meaning they are down more than 20% from their peak -- most European indices regained a small slice of lost ground.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.58% to 5,706.32 by late morning local time having slumped 3.46% on Wednesday. In Frankfurt, the DAX gained 0.72% to 9,459.68 -- it had plunged 2.82% on Wednesday. In Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.94% to 4,163.64, after a 3.45% nose-dive on Wednesday.
S&P 500 futures edged down 0.35% to 1,848.50.
The ECB announces its rate decision at 1.45 p.m. Frankfurt time, followed by a press conference three-quarters of an hour later. Investors will be straining for hints of any new monetary stimuli given the prevailing herd panic about Chinese markets and China's economic prospects.
Home-shopping company N Brown Group and car-parts and bikes retailer Halfords Group were up more than 13% and 9%, respectively, in London after positive updates on sales that encompassed the critical Christmas period.
Educational books and courses supplier Pearson (PSO) - Get Report was up about 10% as it announced a restructuring entailing 4,000 job cuts, alongside news that it would narrowly miss full-year profit guidance.
Royal Mail Group (ROYMY) gained close to 3% in London after encouraging nine-month figures, including a 6% year-on-year increase in December parcel deliveries.
In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Report tumbled more than 8% on a warning it will report a full-year net loss of €6.7 billion ($7.3 billion) with its detailed earnings report next week because of litigation and restructuring charges in the fourth quarter, as well as general market mayhem. The result will be its first loss since 2008.
Drinks maker Remy Cointreau (REMYY) was up 1.7% in Paris after it said it had returned to organic sales growth in the third quarter thanks to a rebound in China and the U.S.
Cross-channel tunnel operator Groupe Eurotunnel was up 1.9% in Paris after an encouraging 2015 results preview including news of a 5% increase in full-year sales.
It was another day of upset across Asia, with Sydney indices providing a rare bright spot and heavy losses in several other major markets.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed down 2.43% at 16,017.26 and the Topix slumped 2.80% to 1,301,49.
Sharp (SHCAY) gained 5.8% following reports that Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (HNHPF) , which is known as Foxconn, is vying with state-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan to buy the company. The Wall Street Journal said Foxconn has offered $5.3 billion, while the Financial Times put its bid at about ¥600 billion ($5.1 billion).
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 1.82% to close at 18,542.15. The Shanghai/Shenzhen CSI 300 composite tumbled 2.93% to 3,081.35.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 clambered up 0.46% to 4,864.00.