The FTSE 100 index is seen opening 18-33 points higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, rallying thanks to strength overnight on Wall Street and in Asia after a fourth straight session of losses on Wednesday. Skip related content
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The blue chip index closed 5.00 points, or 0.1 percent lower on Wednesday at 3,925.52. The benchmark index has fallen over 11 percent so far this year after shedding more than 31 percent in 2008.
Trading is expected to be thin as investors await news from the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meeting, and ahead of the long Easter holiday weekend, with a number of European markets closed.
Median forecasts of more than 60 economists see the Bank of England holding rates at their historic low of 0.5 percent until June next year as the economy continues to struggle in the throes of a deep recession.
Having cut rates to almost rock bottom, the central bank has turned to quantitative easing (QE) measures and investors will be looking out for any comments on the progress or possible expansion of this new policy.
Ahead of the Bank of England statement, investors will have March UK PPI data and February trade balance numbers numbers to digest.
Meanwhile Federal Reserve policymakers, faced with bleaker forecasts for a rapidly worsening recession, decided to buy a “substantial” amount of U.S. Treasury and mortgage debt to halt the slide, minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting showed on Wednesday.
“Traders are clearly finding some comfort in the Fed’s decision to buy long term treasuries as their QE attempts continue. Likely restrictions on short selling across the Atlantic are also going to offer some support,” said Jimmy Yates, head of equities at CMC Markets.