European markets head for positive open following U.S. Fed commitment to support economy

  • London's FTSE is seen opening 15 points higher at 6,575, Germany's DAX is seen 29 points higher at 13,587, France's CAC 40 is seen opening 5 points higher at 5,555 and Italy's FTSE MIB 29 points higher at 21,965, according to IG.

LONDON — European stocks are expected to open in positive territory on Thursday as traders react positively to comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it will continue to support the economy.

London's FTSE is seen opening 15 points higher at 6,575, Germany's DAX is seen 29 points higher at 13,587, France's CAC 40 is seen opening 5 points higher at 5,555 and Italy's FTSE MIB 29 points higher at 21,965, according to IG.

The positive trend comes after the the U.S. Federal Reserve said it will buy at least $120 billion of bonds each month "until substantial further progress has been made toward the Committee's maximum employment and price stability goals."

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also said on Wednesday that stock prices are not necessarily highly priced given how low interest rates are.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher in Thursday trade as investors reacted to the latest announcements from the Fed.

Nonetheless, U.S. stock futures were flat overnight as traders kept an eye on Washington, looking for clues about the prospects of additional fiscal aid. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained just 29 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also rose marginally.

On Wednesday, congressional leaders closed in on a $900 stimulus package that would include direct payments to individuals.

In Europe Thursday, the Bank of England publishes its latest interest rate decision and data releases include new car registrations for the EU in November and French business confidence for December.

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— CNBC's Jeff Cox and Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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