* STOXX hits new peak, up 0.2%
* Strong results provide support
* Eyes on BoE meeting
* U.S. futures inch up
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A FRESH RECORD EVERYDAY (0809 GMT)
A batch of strong results lifted European stocks, which hit
record highs everyday this week, putting the pan-European index
on track for its best week in three months.
The STOXX 600 is up 0.2% with tech and industrials
indexes leading the pack up 0.8% each.
Nivea maker Beiersdorf offers a 'handsome' beat,
with shares set for their best day in 9 months, while Siemens
shares are up 4% after the company raises profit
guidance and CEO says the engineering and tech company can
handle raw material price hikes.
Capping the gains, retailers are down 1.1% with
Zalando falling to the bottom of the STOXX after
disappointing Q2 results.
In the UK, London's FTSE 100 eases, weighed by heavyweight
bank stocks, ahead of BoE's rate meeting.
A TIME TO TAPER (0715 GMT)
Earlier this week, the Reserve Bank of Australia didn't
blink and stuck with plans to taper bond-buying stimulus next
month. But the Bank of England today is unlikely to say it
judges the economy strong enough to stomach an early end to its
875 billion-pound stimulus.
Two BOE policymakers have broken ranks to suggest
bond-buying should end soon. Yet the bank will be mindful that
the pandemic safety net is being dismantled and the COVID threat
hasn't gone away.
Not much action on sterling before the meeting, but the
dollar is at one-week highs after two Fed policymakers Robert
Kaplan and Richard Clarida spoke in favour of tapering QE this
year, with the latter predicting "pretty healthy" U.S job gains
which would allow an interest rate liftoff in 2023.
Ten-year Treasuries have inched back to 1.20% after falling
as low as 1.127% on Wednesday while inflation-adjusted yields
also are off record lows.
Stocks are mostly flatlining, after the S&P 500 closed off
record highs, pressured by the Fed remarks as well as data
showing weaker July jobs growth.
In China, it was the turn of vaping firms' shares to tumble,
following reports that minors were purchasing e-cigarettes;
these dragged the broader index 0.6% lower. Strong
earnings and a tech rally boosted Japanese stocks though record
new virus cases and more activity curbs dampened sentiment.
The earnings season in Europe and United States too is
winding down on a strong note. Lufthansa, Merck, Siemens,
Adidas, Credit Agricole and fashion retailer Zalando were among
those delivering good news.
Finally, as the likes of BOE and the Fed consider taper
timings, rate hikes are proceeding at full tilt in the
developing world -- Brazil has upped rates by a full percentage
point and on Thursday, the Czech central bank could implement a
quarter-point rate rise.
Key developments that should provide more direction to
markets on Thursday:
-Emerging markets: Egypt, Czech central banks meet
-Bank of England meeting
-German industrial orders
U.S. trade balance/initial jobless claims
-Federal Reserve Board Governor Christopher Waller speaks on
-Auction: US 4-week T-bills
-U.S. earnings: CIGNA, ThomsonReuters, Papa John’s, Sempra,
Kelloggs, Expedia, NewsCorp, Motorola, AIG,
-European earnings: Adecco, Adidas, Banco BPM, Bayer, Beirsdorf,
Credit Agricole, Continental, Deutsche Post, Lufthansa, KBC,
Merck, Novo Nordisk, Zalando
EUROPEAN SHARES LOOK FOR DIRECTION AHEAD OF BOE, U.S. JOB
DATA (0532 GMT
Futures are pointing to a flat start of the day for European
bourses ahead of the BoE meeting and job data in the U.S.
The Bank of England is expected to keep its huge support for
Britain's economy running, despite a jump in inflation and a
strong recovery from the pandemic slump.
The central bank is also seen starting to lay out plans for
how it will eventually reverse its stimulus.
"While there is little likelihood of a change in policy at
the meeting this week, it will still be noteworthy if there is
dissent on the pace of the bond buying program, and whether the
bank will look at slowing the pace," says Michael Hewson, Chief
Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK.
In the U.S., weekly jobless claims are expected to drop back
to 384k from 400k last week, according to Reuters poll.