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European Stocks Seen Opening Higher, Dollar Weak

07/26/2013 | 02:56am US/Eastern
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Europe's financial markets are opening with the dollar weaker but shares expected to start strongly after a recovery in New York stocks prompted by an article in The Wall Street Journal reporting that the Federal Open Market Committee, at its meeting next week, is likely to discuss whether to refine or revise its "forward guidance," the words used to describe its intentions for the next few years.

"The Federal Reserve is on track to keep its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program in place at its policy meeting next week, but officials will debate changes to the way the central bank describes its plans for the program and for short-term interest rates," wrote Jon Hilsenrath in the Journal.

However, Europe's markets are likely to tread cautiously ahead of an exceptionally busy week for central bank policy meetings and economic data.

"The U.S. employment report, U.S. GDP and monetary policy decisions by the Fed, European Central Bank, Bank of England and Reserve Bank of India will be on top of the agenda," wrote researchers at ABN Amro in a note to clients.

"In the case of stronger-than-expected U.S. data, the Fed will likely further communicate to financial markets that interest rates will not be raised in the foreseeable future in an attempt to avoid U.S. bond yields moving much higher," they added.

Ahead of the stock markets' opening, Capital Spreads is calling the FTSE 100 up 26 at 6614, the DAX up 54 at 8353 and the CAC-40 up 28 at 3984. In the currency markets, the dollar is mostly weaker than in late New York business Thursday. German Bund futures have opened higher but crude oil futures are lower and the gold price is steady.

"Despite the positive start [for stocks] though, gains may be capped and traders may tread cautiously going into the weekend as they look ahead to next week, which sees a raft of key central bank meetings, speeches and releases and a host of sentiment-deciding economic data," wrote Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads, in a client note.

This session, economic data releases include French consumer confidence and the final reading of the University of Michigan's measure of consumer confidence in the U.S.

Write to Martin Essex at martin.essex@dowjones.com or on Twitter @MartinEssexDJN

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