European stock markets traded higher Friday, helped by a series of positive corporate earnings after the Federal Reserve concluded its latest policy-setting meeting. The second-quarter corporate earnings season has been largely positive in Europe as companies benefit from the gradual removal of Covid restrictions as vaccination programs kicked in. Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) stock rose over 3% after the oil major raised its dividend by almost 40% and said it will buy back $2 billion of shares, with its earnings boosted by stronger oil prices.
European stock markets are expected to open largely unchanged Thursday after the Federal Reserve concluded its latest policy-setting meeting and as the corporate earnings season continues. At 2:05 AM ET (0605 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded flat, CAC 40 futures in France rose 0.1% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. was flat. Investors have been parsing through the Federal Reserve policy statement, released late Wednesday, with the U.S. central bank saying that "progress" had been made toward its economic goals, potentially bringing forward the time when it might start reining in its bond-buying program.
Economic data from Germany and the U.S will influence. Going into the open, market reaction to the FED’s hold on policy and forward guidance will set the tone, however.