European stocks may follow their U.S. and Asian peers higher on Thursday, although the upside may remain limited ahead of the Fed decision on interest rates.
The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged today, but traders will keep a close eye on the accompanying statement for clues about an expected rate hike in December.
The U.S. dollar cut its losses after an initial selloff as a split Congress dampened the prospect for any further tax cuts. Oil recovered slightly from eight-month lows after OPEC signaled it would consider a return to cutting output next year.
Asian stocks are broadly higher, with benchmark indexes in Australia, South Korea and Japan rising between half a percent and 1.8 percent, after official data showed China’s exports and imports both increased more than expected in October.
Exports grew 15.6 percent annually, while economists had forecast an increase of 11.7 percent. Imports surged 21.4 percent compared to the forecast of 14.7 percent. As a result, the trade surplus came in at $34 billion in the month versus the expected level of $35.1 billion.
Elsewhere, the value of core machine orders in Japan plunged 18.3 percent sequentially in September, the Cabinet Office said – coming in at 802.2 billion yen. That was well shy of expectations for a decline of 9.0 percent following the 6.8 percent increase in August.
The European economic calendar remains light, with German foreign trade figures awaited later in the session.
Overnight, U.S. stocks saw a relief rally as the results of the highly anticipated midterm elections came largely in line with expectations.
The Dow and the S&P 500 surged around 2.1 percent to reach their best closing levels in nearly a month while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index jumped as much as 2.6 percent.
European markets also ended Wednesday’s session higher amid relief over the U.S. mid-term election results.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index climbed 1.1 percent. The German DAX rose 0.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rallied 1.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 1.1 percent.