European Factors to Watch-Shares seen lower, focus on commodity stocks
(ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report)
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a weaker start on Thursday, tracking losses on Wall Street and in Asia, with a fall in commodities prices on the back of a firmer dollar and hawkish comments from another Fed official seen putting pressure on the market.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard joined a chorus of officials in highlighting the risk of at least two rate hikes this year, with the first perhaps as soon as April. Markets imply only one increase and dealers suspect an orchestrated attempt by the Fed to shift that thinking.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, France's CAC , Britain's FTSE and Germany's DAX were down 0.6 to 0.7 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 1.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.6 percent on Thursday. U.S. equities ended 0.5 to 1.1 percnet weaker in the previous session, when pan-European FTSEeurofirst 300 index closed 0.1 percent lower.
Trading volumes are likely to be thin ahead of the Easter holidays.