European shares are seen opening higher as the full effect of the European Central Bank’s Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) eases market concerns.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank was “reasonably satisfied” with its offer of half a trillion euros of cheap funds to lenders, and that Europe is on a fragile path to recovery.
At a European Union summit on Thursday – the first for some time not dominated by Greece – reports suggest that disagreement arose between leaders over the balance between austerity and reviving lost growth in the euro zone.
Oil prices had spiked earlier Friday after unconfirmed reports of a Saudi oil pipeline explosion, but the reports were dismissed after a Saudi official told CNBC they were untrue.
In earnings news, France’s Areva reports fourth-quarter results at 8:45 a.m. Central European Time (2:45 a.m. New York time).
Iran will see a nationwide parliamentary vote on Friday, that country’s first elections since a disputed 2009 presidential ballot that sparked protests across the country.