Updated from 4:20 a.m.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- European stocks were trading lower Thursday ahead of rate decisions from the Bank of England and European Central Bank and after Greece said it would issue new 10-year government bonds.

Greece has appointed five banks, including HSBC ( HBC) and Barclays ( BCS), to handle the bond issue that will come due on June, 19, 2010, the Associated Press reports.

Shares in Asia ended lower after the U.S. Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey suggested the recovery in the world's No. 1 economy would be sluggish.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 stock average declined 1.1% to 10,145.72. A strong yen also turned Japanese markets to the downside. Stock on the Hang Seng, the benchmark index in Hong Kong, fell 1.4%.

London stocks fell 0.2%, while Frankfurt and Paris shares were down 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively.

The BOE and ECB are expected to hold rates steady at record lows in meetings Thursday.

Greece announced a $6.5 billion austerity plan Wednesday that includes cuts in civil servant pay and bonuses, pension freezes and a hike in consumer taxes, including a 19% sales tax.

Premarket futures suggested stocks in the U.S. would open with losses Thursday.

On Wednesday in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 9 points, or 0.1%, to end at 10,397. The S&P 500 added about half a point to 1119, and the Nasdaq finished largely flat at 2281.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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