European markets head for higher open; Ukraine war remains in focus

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LONDON – European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday as investors monitor developments in the Russia-Ukraine war.

The UK’s FTSE index opens 16 points higher at 7,636, Germany’s DAX 45 points higher at 14,392, France’s CAC 40 is up 14 points at 6,638 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 12 points higher at 24,545, according to data from IG.

The war in Ukraine remains in the minds of economic operators in Europe, with the second phase of the conflict, targeting the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, now fully underway.

Russia has issued a new ultimatum to surrender in the badly destroyed city of Mariupol, where Ukrainian troops and allegedly hundreds of civilians are entrenched in the Azovstal steel factory. Meanwhile, officials in Ukraine continue to call for increased arms support and faster deliveries as Russia intensifies its bombing of the Donbas.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to meet with him in their respective capitals.

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US stock futures rose in overnight trading as investors digested more quarterly reports from the likes of Tesla and United Airlines. Weekly unemployment claims are also released on Thursdays.

Shares in Asia-Pacific markets were mixed overnight as investors continue to monitor China’s Covid-19 situation, along with movements in the Japanese yen.

Investors are looking for signs of policy support from Chinese authorities as the mainland continues to struggle with the worst Covid wave since the first outbreak in 2020. The strict zero Covid policy has raised questions about China’s economic prospects.

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— CNBC.com employees contributed to this market report.



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