Market sentiment globally has been boosted by a surge in U.S. markets. The Dow Jones Industrial average closed over 300 points higher – over 25,000 for the first time since mid-March – boosted by Boeing and major U.S. banks, which rallied on higher interest rates. The Nasdaq also closed at a record high.
News on Wednesday suggested that politics in continental Europe has resumed normal business after upheaval in recent weeks. Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte comfortably won a second confidence vote, confirming his government’s majority. Meanwhile in Spain, new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez named his cabinet.
On Thursday, Brexit negotiations are in focus. The U.K. is to publish its back-up plan for avoiding a hard Irish border, should it fail to gain a trade deal with the European Union, which alleviates the need for border checks, according to the BBC’s political editor. According to the Financial Times, the plan caused a “serious row” between Prime Minister Theresa May and Brexit minister David Davis.
In other U.K. news, Bank of England policymaker Ian McCafferty told LBC radio station said that the institution was in “no hurry to turn round on (quantitative easing)” on Wednesday.
In the calendar for Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin will take questions from citizens during an annual phone-in. In Brussels, NATO defense ministers are to convene for a routine meeting.
In Italy, the Bilderberg Meeting for European and U.S. business and political leaders is to take place, designed to encourage transatlantic cooperation.
The latest estimates for euro area gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter of 2018 are to be published on Thursday morning.