European stocks are set for a modest rebound Thursday, pulling Wall Street futures into the green as bargain-hunting investors return to global equity markets on the back of stronger U.S. economic data 

Britain's FTSE 100 is expected to rise around 0.2% at the start of trading, according to financial bookmakers IG, with similar percentage gains anticipated for major benchmarks around the region. The broadest measure of European equities, the Stoxx 600 index, slumped to a 2-month low yesterday and sits some 4% south of its Nov. 2 peak.

Dow Jones Mini futures are also bouncing higher and were quoted 48 points to the good at the start of European trading, while S&P mini futures 6.25 points, or 0.24%  higher, from their Wednesday close.

Investors will get a chance to test the market's underlying strength today with quarterly earnings from retail giants Wal-Mart (WMT) - Get Report and Best Buy Co. (BBY) - Get Report after stronger-than-expected retail sales data and modestly faster inflation underpinned bullish sentiment on growth in the world's biggest economy yesterday.

Still, investors remain concerned about over-valued equities and the near-term prospects of U.S. tax reform as House Republicans continue to criticise a Senate version of reforms that would delay corporate reductions and possibly remove the "individual mandate" provision -- which essentially compels Americans to purchase health insurance -- from the Affordable Care Act. 

That said, economic and market optimism bled into Asia trading, where the Nikkei 225 notched a solid rebound of 1.47% into the close of trading and the broadest measure of regional shares, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, rose 0.19% to again test the highest levels in a decade.

Global oil prices added modest gain to their previous levels in overnight trading, even as the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a bigger-than-expected 1.9 million barrel increase in domestic crude stocks yesterday.

Brent crude futures for January delivery, the global benchmark for prices, were seen 0.2% higher at $62.00 per barrel while West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for the same month added 0.4% to $55.55

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