European stocks may open higher on Thursday after gains in several big tech stocks helped nudge the S&P 500 to a second record high in three days.
The dollar index hovered close to two-week lows as U.S. Treasury yields continued to retreat from more than 1-year highs.
Asian markets remain broadly higher, though Japanese shares fell on concerns about a spike in domestic Covid infections and possible restrictions on economic activity.
China reported 24 cases for Wednesday, up from 12 a day earlier. South Korea reported 700 new cases, the highest daily figure since early January.
India is battling a deadly second wave with daily infections this week passing the peak of the first wave seen last September.
In economic releases, factory orders and construction Purchasing Managers’ survey results from Germany are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.
Economists expect German factory orders to climb 1.2 percent month-on-month in February, following a 1.4 percent rise in January.
Across the Atlantic, a report on weekly jobless claims is likely to attract attention as traders keep an eye on remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell during a virtual International Monetary Fund Debate on the Global Economy. Powell is likely to reiterate the dovish outlook.
U.S. stocks ended narrowly mixed overnight after minutes of March FOMC meeting reinforced expectations that interest rates will remain low for some time amid continued uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook.
European markets ended Wednesday’s session mostly lower amid concerns about a surge in coronavirus cases in several countries and a somewhat slow pace of vaccination in parts of the continent.
The pan European Stoxx 600 eased 0.2 percent. The German DAX slid 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 index finished marginally lower while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent.
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