European stocks are likely to open higher on Thursday as investors await cues from U.S. inflation data and the ECB policy meeting.

US CPI data may play a vital role in the movement of the dollar index and treasury yields, with a higher than expected number likely to add fresh fodder to the debate about whether inflation will be short-term or long-term.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to keep stimulus flowing despite growing inflation concerns. The ECB will announce its policy decision at 1145 GMT, followed by ECB head Lagarde’s news conference at 1230 GMT.

Lagarde is likely to do a balancing act acknowledging improving economic data without any talk of a stimulus taper.

Asian markets were seeing modest gains while the dollar held near five-month lows. Oil prices slipped amid an increase in U.S. fuel stockpiles.

10-year Treasury yield fell below 1.5 percent for the first time in a month after an auction saw solid bids and heady demand. Bitcoin held an advance as El Salvador became the first country to adopt the digital currency as legal tender.

U.S.-China tensions remained in focus as the Biden administration revoked Trump-era bans on TikTok and WeChat and ordered a review of software applications tied to China.

Ahead of this weekend’s G7 summit, the U.S. said it will buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to share through the global COVAX alliance for donation to 92 low-income countries and the African Union.

The draft G7 document will have leaders committing to 1 billion more coronavirus vaccines to cover 80 percent of the world’s population, Bloomberg said.

U.S. stocks closed slightly lower overnight amid a lack of market-moving catalysts. The Dow shed 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 eased 0.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1 percent.

European stocks ended mixed as the World Bank warned of an uneven global recovery and the U.K. reported its highest daily coronavirus cases since February.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended flat with a positive bias. France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.2 percent, while the German DAX dipped 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 lost 0.2 percent.

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