Posted date: 2017-03-16 11:24:11
Investors are reacting to a rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserves as well as election results from the Netherlands.
The Fed raised its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage point on Wednesday, which was widely expected.
Central bank chief Janet Yellen publicly expressed her "confidence in the robustness of the economy and its resilience to shocks."
In the Netherlands, voters turned out in droves to support current Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was running against far-right candidate Geert Wilders.
With 94.3% of votes counted, Rutte's VVD was projected to win 33 seats compared to 20 for Wilders' PVV.
"This night is a night for the Netherlands -- after Brexit, after the American elections -- where we said stop it, stop it to the wrong kind of populism," Rutte said on Wednesday.
U.S. stock futures were up ahead of the bell.
Gold prices were about 2% higher in the wake of the Fed rate hike. The U.S. dollar was weaker.
2. Market movers -- Anglo American, Renault, GoPro, Canada Goose: Shares in mining giant Anglo American ( surged by 8% in London after Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal announced he's buying up to £2 billion ($2.5 billion) worth of Anglo shares through his family trust. )
Shares in automaker Renault ( were 5% lower on Thursday after French media reported that regulators in the country have concluded that it cheated on emissions tests. Shares in the automaker have fallen by 10% in two days. )
Renault has denied the charges, saying its vehicles "are not equipped with cheating software affecting anti-pollution systems."
Shares in embattled tech firm GoPro (Tech30) look set to surge at the open after the company told investors it was cutting 270 jobs to keep costs down. ,
Parka maker Canada Goose is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday morning. Shares will be trading under the ticker symbol "GOOS."
3. Earnings and economics: President Trump released his "America First" budget on Thursday. The administration wants to increase spending on defense, while slashing funds for the State Department and Environmental Protection Agency.
Dollar General ( is set to release earnings before the open, while )Adobe Systems ( and )Craft Brew Alliance ( plan to release earnings after the close. )
The Census Bureau will release reports on U.S. housing starts and building permits at 8:30 a.m. ET.
4. Central bank takes center stage: On the heels of the big Fed meeting in Washington, attention shifts to London where the Bank of England will announce its interest rate decision.
5. Coming this week:
Thursday - Dollar General ( reports earnings )
Friday - G20 meeting for finance ministers and central bankers