ECONOMY

European stock-index futures advance after fed policy decision

European stock-index futures rose, as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that interest rates won’t increase anytime soon, while Scotland prepares to vote on independence. U.S. stock-index futures were little changed and Asian shares fell.

Bayer AG may move after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company may shed its plastics business. National Bank of Greece SA may be active after three people familiar with the matter said it has hired banks to sell as much as 40 percent of its Turkish unit.

Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index expiring in September gained 0.3 percent to 3,249 at 7:13 a.m. in London. Contracts on the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index added 0.1 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index contracts rose less than 0.1 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5 percent.

“After an initial spasm, U.S. equities finished in the green as Yellen kept the ‘considerable time’ phrase and European equities are set to adjust for this before hunkering down and seeing how the Scottish independence vote pans out,” Jonathan Sudaria, a trader at London Capital Group Holdings Plc in London, wrote in an e-mail.

The Fed tapered monthly bond buying by $10 billion for a seventh time, staying on course to end the program in October. Policy makers said the economy is expanding at a moderate pace and inflation is below its goal, while maintaining a commitment to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” after asset purchases end.

Voters in Scotland will decide Thursday whether to break from the U.K. in a ballot that could spell the end of a three- century-old union.

ECB Loans

The European Central Bank will announce the result of its first targeted-lending program today as part of its effort to stave off deflation in the euro area. The so-called TLTRO is among a package of measures that ECB President Mario Draghi says will boost its balance sheet to as much as 3 trillion euros ($3.9 trillion) from 2 trillion euros.

The ECB will announce the allotment of funds at 11:15 a.m. in Frankfurt, with the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists showing banks will receive 150 billion euros. The four-year loans carry an annual interest rate of 0.15 percent.

In the U.S., a report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show initial jobless claims fell to 305,000 in the week ended Sep. 13 from 315,000 in the previous week, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

A separate report at 10 a.m. may show the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s business index fell to 23 in September from 28 the previous month, according to economist’ forecasts.

Bayer Plastics

Bayer may be active. Germany’s biggest drugmaker is considering options including a sale, initial public offering or spinoff of its plastics business, the WSJ reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The separation, which could be announced as soon as today, is unlikely to take place before next year, according to the report.

National Bank of Greece may be active. Greece’s biggest lender has hired banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to sell the Finansbank AS stake, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. National Bank of Greece may sell the shares as early as this year, two of the people said. [Bloomberg]