European markets higher as tech stocks lead gains; investors await Bank of England’s rate decision

Soegeefx AppsEU MarketEuropean markets higher as tech stocks lead gains; investors await Bank of England’s rate decision

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LONDON — European stocks were higher on Thursday, with U.K. investors looking ahead to the Bank of England’s policy rate decision.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose around 0.4% during early morning deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. Tech stocks led the gains, up 1%, while food and beverages stocks dipped 0.6%.

U.K. traders will be focused on the Bank of England’s rate decision Thursday, although the central bank is widely expected to hold rates steady at a 16-year high of 5.25%, with the majority of economists polled by Reuters forecasting a cut in August after the country’s July 4 election.

Data released Wednesday showed U.K. inflation rose by an annual 2.0% in May, hitting the central bank’s inflation target.

Norway’s central bank and the Swiss National Bank are also set to announce monetary policy decisions on Thursday.

Norway’s Norges Bank is widely expected to keep the policy rate unchanged at 4.5%, while two-thirds of economists polled by Reuters have anticipated the SNB will decide in favor of a 25-basis-point cut to 1.25%.

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Bank of England set to hold interest rates despite inflation hitting 2% target

Investors will be keeping an eye out on earnings from Boohoo Group and DS Smith.

Shares of Germany-based drug discovery and development company Evotec rose more than 7% on Thursday, climbing to the top of the European benchmark.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Tate & Lyle tumbled toward the bottom of the index. Shares of the specialty food and beverage company fell nearly 4% after it announced it had entered into an agreement to buy U.S.-based CP Kelco for $1.8 billion.

Overnight, Asia-Pacific markets were mostly lower on Thursday as China kept its one- and five-year loan prime rates unchanged. Meanwhile, S&P 500 futures were little changed on Thursday as investors look for the benchmark to add to its latest record high.

On the data front, flash consumer confidence figures from the euro zone for June will be released.

Source : cnbc

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