Wall Street Might Open Broadly Higher

The European Central Bank or ECB meeting will be keenly observed by investors. This is the first major central bank policy decision after the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and the troubles faced by the Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

Earlier the ECB had signaled a 50 bps hike for March, however, analysts expect that the recent concerns regarding the banking sector might prompt the bank to think of a 25 bps increase.

Early signs from the U.S. Futures Index suggest that Wall Street might open broadly up.

Asian shares finished lower, while European shares are trading higher.

As of 8.10 am ET, the Dow futures were declining 21.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were adding 1.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were progressing 48.00 points.

The U.S. major averages finished lower on Wednesday. The Dow ended down 280.83 points or 0.87 percent at 31,874.57, nearly 450 points off the session's low of 31,429.82.
The S&P 500, which fell to 3,838.24, ended at 3,891.93, losing 27.36 points or 0.7 percent. The Nasdaq, which tumbled to 11,238.44, settled at 11,434.05, gaining 5.90 points or 0.05 percent.

On the economic front, the Commerce, Housing & Urban Development department's Housing Starts and Permits data for February will be released at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is 1.315 million, while it was up 1.309 million in January.

The Labor Department's Jobless Claims for the week is scheduled at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is 205k, while it was up 211k in the prior week.

The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index for March will be released at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is minus 15.8, while it was minus 24.3 in the prior month.

The Labor Department's Import and Export Prices for February is scheduled at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is a decline of 0.2 percent, while it was down 0.2 in the prior month.

The Energy Information Administration or EIA's Natural Gas Report for the week will be issued at 10.30 am ET. In the prior week, the gas stock was down 84 bcf.
Ten-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities or TIPS will be issued at 11.00 am ET.

Twenty-year Treasury Bond announcement will be held at 11.00 am ET.

The Fed Balance Sheet for the week will be published at 4.30 pm ET. In the prior week, the level was at $8.342 trillion.

Asian stocks ended broadly lower on Thursday. Chinese shares fell sharply. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell 1.12 percent to 3,226.89 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index settled 1.72 percent lower at 19,203.91.

Japanese shares fell again. The Nikkei average dropped 0.80 percent to 27,010.61. The broader Topix index closed 1.17 percent lower at 1,937.10.

Australian markets declined today. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index shed 1.46 percent to finish at 69,65.50, while the broader All Ordinaries index settled 1.52 percent lower at 7,152.70.

European shares are trading higher. CAC 40 of France is gaining 70.14 points or 1.02 percent. DAX of Germany is progressing 89.04 points or 0.60 percent. FTSE 100 of England is adding 54.89 points or 0.75 percent. Swiss Market Index is up 88.05 points or 0.84 percent.

Euro Stoxx 50 which provides a Blue-chip representation of supersector leaders in the Eurozone, is up 0.79 percent.

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