BANGKOK (AP) - Asian stock markets drifted Thursday ahead of a European Central Bank meeting that analysts anticipate will announce a plan to support financially struggling European countries.
ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to unveil a new bond-buying program intended to bring down the high borrowing costs of Spain and Italy. Without some way to reduce the interest rates on the bonds they sell, the two nations could be pushed into asking for a bailout, following a path taken by Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus.
Investors are also looking ahead to Friday's U.S. payrolls data for signs of life in the world's largest economy. Continued signs of weakness in the U.S. economy may help persuade the Federal Reserve to announce new action after its meeting next week.
Benchmark oil for October delivery was up 50 cents to $95.86 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 6 cents to finish at $95.36 per barrel on the Nymex on Tuesday.
First Coast News