European markets, investors react to Fed hike

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LONDON — European stocks are expected to open around the flatline on Thursday as investors react to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s first rate hike in years.

The U.K.’s FTSE index is seen opening 6 points lower at 7,286, Germany’s DAX 1 point lower at 14,449 and France’s CAC 40 down 3 points at 6,594, according to data from IG.

Global markets are muted in the wake of the Federal Reserve hiking its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2018 and signaling six more hikes this year.

U.S. stock futures were little changed overnight as investors also digested the latest projections from the Fed which significantly raised its projections for inflation in 2022.

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The war in Ukraine is also dominating headlines. Reports of progress on ceasefire negotiations helped boost stocks on Wednesday and after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered an emotive address to the U.S. Congress. President Joe Biden also approved additional weapons to be sent to Ukraine.

Earnings come from Audi, Veolia, Ocado and Deliveroo on Thursday and the Bank of England announces its latest monetary policy decision.

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— CNBC’s Jesse Pound contributed to this market report.

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