European shares are little changed Thursday ahead of two key rate decisions from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank that could set the tone for market performance throughout the summer.

Analysts are anticipating no change in the BoE's key lending rate – already at a record low 0.5 percent – but are betting on an increase of £50bn to the Bank's current programme of quantitative easing.

In Frankfurt, economists expect at least a quarter point cut to the current 1 percent level of the ECB's key "refi" rate but potentially also a cut in the current deposit rate that pays Europe's banks 0.25 percent each day to park around €800bn with the bank.

Elsewhere Spain sold around €3bn in three, four and 10-year debt in the first test of the bond markets since finalizing terms of its potentially €100bn in bank bailout loans from the European Union. Borrowings costs rose sharply in the €747m sale of benchmark 10-year debt, which priced to an average yield of 6.43 percent – nearly 40 basis points higher than at a similar auction on 7 June before the bailout funds were announced.