The markets in Europe, as of 7:05 am London time, are seen lower as investors continue to look at geopolitical tensions and uncertainties. There is also a batch of corporate earnings reports due out today.
The futures show London stocks down eleven points. Futures in Germany are down 45 points and in France, down twenty points or so.
Traders in Europe are focusing on geopolitical concerns between North Korea and the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday, that the United States was looking at new ways to pressure the hermit nation. Tillerson also accused Iran of “alarming ongoing provocations” to destabilize countries in the Middle East.
Looking at the upcoming first round of the French presidential elections, polls now show that the race to is too close to call. Both leading candidates are losing momentum ahead of Sunday’s first-round vote.
Europe also focuses on Corporate News
There are a number of companies in Europe reporting quarterly fiscal numbers. Nestle, Ricard, Danone, Sky, Unilever are among some. In the United States, later in the day, Exxon Mobil is seeking permission to avoid sanctions on Russia in order to drill in the Black Sea. This is a joint venture with Russian state oil company Rosneft.
On the economic docket today, G-20 finance ministers and central bank leaders will meet in the US. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will begin their routine spring meetings. Also, the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim will address the media at 2:30 pm and 1:45 pm London time, respectively.
Today, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, will speak to the Institute of International Finance at 4.30 pm London time.