European markets open higher (Reuters).
European markets opened higher on Thursday, following positive cues from Wall Street, despite uncertainty about the potential US intervention in Syria.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.4% higher to 299.21.
Britain's FTSE 100 opened 0.2% higher.
Germany's DAX 30 opened 0.4% higher
France's CAC 40 opened 0.5% higher.
Spain's IBEX 35 was up 0.15% in early trade.
Italy's FTSE MIB was up 0.50% in early trade.
Market participants in Europe will be tracking German employment and inflation data alongside eurozone retail purchasing managers index (PMI) data.
They will also be following speeches by two Federal Reserve presidents for hints on the future pace of the Fed's bond-buying programme. St Louis Fed president James Bullard speaks at 8:50am EDT and Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker speaks at 2 pm.
In company news, UK-based advertiser WPP has reported a 7.1% increase in first-half revenue to £5.3bn ($8.23bn) and a 12% increase in headline pre-tax profit to £524m, mostly in line with market consensus.
UK-based steel maker Evraz reported a $122m net loss for the first half on weak steel prices.
French drinks maker Pernod Ricard reported a 6% increase in earnings and a 4% increase in sales in the year to June. Earnings before interest, taxes and some one-off payments totalled €2.23bn.
British government services firm Serco, French media firms Lagardere Groupe and Vivendi, cosmetics major L'Oreal and supermarket chain Carrefour will all release earnings updates during the day.
In other news, Italy revoked an unpopular property tax. As a result, the state would suffer a €4bn ($5.3bn) annual shortfall of funds. Officials did not specify as to how they intend to compensate for the shortfall.
In Asia and the US
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei finished 0.91% higher on Thursday. South Korea's Kospi ended 1.22% higher while Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.10% higher.
Earlier in Asia, most markets opened higher. but market gains were capped by uncertainty about Syria.
Oil prices were boosted by the prospect of supply disruptions in the Middle East as the US and its allies prepare for potential air strikes against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime.
On Wall Street, indices ended higher, boosted by energy stocks.
The Dow finished 48.38 points higher at 14,824.51. The S&P 500 ended 4.48 points higher at 1,634.96 while the Nasdaq closed 14.83 points higher at 3,593.35.
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