European stocks are set to open lower Thursday in the last full session before a four-day Easter Holiday break that comes amid rising geopolitical tensions in Asia and the Middle East that has hit risk sentiment in financial markets around the world.
Britain's FTSE 100 is likely to slip 15 points the opening bell, according to financial bookmakers IG, with a 32 point decline priced in to the DAX performance index and a 14 point all expected for the CAC-40 in Paris.
The declines, however, don't necessarily reflect the risk-averse sentiment that has been driving global markets for the past week, particularly in Asia, given the increasing combative tone in relations between North Korea and the United States. That said, stocks in the region were able to rise firmly into the end of the session, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rising 0.58% by 06:45 BST, thanks in part for a slumping U.S. dollar.
The greenback tumbled to a multi-week low of 99.98 against a basket of its global peers, extending steep declines in Wednesday trading, after U.S. President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the dollar is "getting too strong" and that he hoped the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates low as a result.