European shares were called to open lower on Thursday after Federal Reserve Bank president Ben Bernanke lowered his forecast for U.S. economic growth and said job creation in the economy was unlikely to pick up significantly until at least 2014.
The FTSE as called to open 9 points lower at 5613, the DAX was expected to open 13 points lower at 6379 and the CAC 40 was seen opening 2 points lower at 3125.
Bernanke warned the euro zone economic crisis was having far-reaching implications for the global economy and said it presented the greatest threat to the U.S. recovery He said the Fed stands ready to act if the economy slows further.
As he did so, Bernanke also announced a further round of monetary stimulus, expanding the central bank’s asset-swap program known as “Operation Twist,” by $267 billion, adding that the program would now continue to run through to the end of the year.
Europe will see Spain attempt to auction up to two billion euros ($2.5 billion) of government debt on Thursday morning, with yields expected to push beyond a previous euro era high of 7.3 percent seen on Tuesday.
Later on Thursday, the Spanish government is expected to give details of the state of its banks, which should shed some light on the scale of the likely bailout it will require from the European Union (EU).Page 1 of 4 | Next Page