European Shares Seen Slightly Higher On Stimulus Hopes



European stocks are seen opening higher on Friday as hopes of more government spending around the globe offset worries over rising cases of the coronavirus and deteriorating relations between the United States and China. Asian shares gave up early gains to turn mixed after reports suggested that the Trump administration is weighing a sweeping travel order banning members of the Chinese Communist Party and their relatives from entering the United States, in the latest escalation in tensions between the two countries. China said it is "pathetic" for the U.S. to consider banning members of its Communist Party.

Earlier on Thursday, China said it will stick to the Phase 1 trade deal it had reached with the U.S. earlier this year, but warned it will respond to the "bullying" practices by the U.S. side. The dollar held firm as investors reacted to a slew of newly-released data overnight and reports suggesting that a draft stimulus legislation may be introduced next week when U.S. Congress returns from recess. New York Fed President John Williams said Thursday that the Fed is striving to get economy on track and that financial support for Americans will be essential to navigate the crisis.

Closer home, leaders from 27 European Union nations will be meeting face-to-face for the first since February today to seek to overcome differences over a proposed stimulus package.

Gold steadied near the $1,800 level while oil prices fell slightly on worries over surging coronavirus cases and simmering U.S.-China tensions.

The United States reported at least 70,000 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, a record daily increase for the seventh time this month.

Final consumer price data from euro area is due later in the day, headlining a light day for the European economic news. Across the Atlantic, reports on housing starts and consumer sentiment

may attract some attract attention but could be overshadowed by reaction to earnings news from Netflix.

U.S. stocks ended lower overnight as investors reacted to mixed corporate earnings, elevated jobless claims figures and rising U.S.-China tensions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped half a percent to snap a four-day winning streak, the S&P 500 eased 0.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.7 percent.

European stocks ended off their day's lows on Thursday as the ECB kept its policy steady, as expected, and traders awaited a key EU summit at which leaders are expected to bridge differences and agree on a 750-billion-euro recovery fund.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index fell half a percent. The German DAX eased 0.4 percent, France's CAC 40 index declined half a percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 0.7 percent.

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