European stocks are expected to open lower Thursday as global investors pullback from multi-year and all-time highs amid softer-than-expected economic data from China.
Britain's FTSE 100 will be the focus of European trading today ahead of a Bank of England rate decision at noon London time and what is likely to be a pullback in commodity prices after China reported flowing factory growth, retail sales and fixed asset investment. Financial bookmakers IG indicate the benchmark will fall around 5 points at the opening bell.
The pound, which had tested a one-year high of 1.3371 earlier this week after August inflation data showed consumer prices rising at a four-year high 2.9%, has pared gained since to around 1.3205, but traders remain alert to any potential intervention by the BoE in order to maintain price stability.
Broader European indices are also expected to slip modestly at the start of trading, with Germany's DAX slated for a 0.28% gain as investors eye reaction to Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) after the world's number two carmaker, along with its partner in China, was ordered to recall nearly 5 million cars equipped with Takata airbags.
Overnight in Asia, the dollar index, which benchmarks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, held to near a two-week high of 92.47 ahead of U.S. inflation data later in the session, a move which helped push the European single currency below the 1.19 threshold.
China's triple set of weak data, however, and a broader pullback from 10-year highs, clipped the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index by around 0.07% and pushed the Nikkei 225 down 0.26% into the close of trading.