► European markets opened poorly with the Stoxx 600 Index dipped by near 1%. Major European companies such as Nokia, Roche and Nestle had disappointing earnings announcements. Nokia plans to eliminate up to 14,000 jobs following their missed earnings estimates, while Nestle posted its weakest sales growth in nearly three years.
► In the US, equity futures are trading lower extending Wednesday's drop. The rise in 10-year US Treasury yields for the fourth consecutive day, inching closer to 5% – a rate not seen since 2007, played a key role in the apprehensive market mood. Comments from John Williams, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President, signaled the continuation of restrictive interest rates to counter inflation. Investors are keenly awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s insights into monetary policy direction during his scheduled speech at the Economic Club of New York (16:00 UTC+0).
► On the geopolitical front, peace efforts in the Middle East are in the spotlight. Following US President Joe Biden's recent Israel visit, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected in Egypt, and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has initiated a two-day regional trip. Escalating tensions were further heightened by a tragic explosion near a Gaza City hospital, which was most likely accidentally hit by rocket shot from Gaza.
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