Investing.com - Most European markets opened lower on Thursday, even as Spanish politicial tensions eased, as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi scheduled later in the day.
Spanish political tensions subsided after Catalonia stopped short of formally declaring independence from Spain.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday proclaimed the region's independence from Spain but said the effects would be postponed to allow for talks with the Spanish government, averting an immediate crisis.
Following meetings on Wednesday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave the Catalan government eight days to abandon its independence bid.
Later in the day, ECB President Draghi and several other ECB members were scheduled to speak at the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting in Washington D.C.
Financial stocks were mostly lower, as French lenders Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) declined 0.49% and 0.70%. Germany's Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) overperformed, with shares rising 0.08% and 0.45%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) fell 0.29% and 0.30% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MC:SAN) and BBVA (MC:BBVA) slid 0.37% and 0.60%.
Elsewhere, Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DE:LHAG) shares were higher for a second consecutive session, up 2.59% on Thursday, after the German airliner announced plans to work with blockchain travel distribution company Winding Tree.
Winding Tree also said it will launch a token sale on November 1 to establish its cryptocurrency, Lif.
Meanwhile, mining stocks were broadly higher on the commodity-heavy index. Shares in Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) gained 0.36% and BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) advanced 0.48%, while rival company Fresnillo (LON:FRES) jumped 0.97%.
Burberry Group (LON:BRBY) was one of the top performers on the index, as shares surged 2.44%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.03% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.12% fall, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.03% loss.
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