European Shares Set To Open Firmer On Trade Deal Hopes

European stocks look set to open higher on Thursday amid renewed optimism that the United States and China could be closer to a near-term trade deal.

Also, risk sentiment got a boost after Japan unveiled a $120 billion fiscal package to support stalling growth in the world's third-largest economy.

Asian markets gained ground despite mixed signals from U.S. President Donald Trump on the trade front.

After a pair of weak economic reports underlined growing fears for U.S. economic outlook, investors now await the closely-watched U.S. non-farm payrolls report due Friday to see how well the world's largest economy is holding up amid a global slowdown.

Gold prices edged higher amid a weaker dollar while oil prices dipped slightly after sharp gains in the previous session.

Factory orders data from Germany and revised quarterly national accounts from euro area are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, reports on weekly jobless claims, the U.S. trade deficit and factory orders may attract some attention, although trading activity is likely to be relatively subdued ahead of the all-important jobs report.

Economists expect employment to increase by 180,000 jobs in November after an increase of 128,000 jobs in October. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.6 percent.

U.S. stocks rose for the first time in four sessions overnight after reports suggested that a phase-one trade U.S.-China trade deal was still in the works and a partial resolution would be completed before another set of China tariffs kick in on Dec. 15.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose around half a percent while the S&P 500 added 0.6 percent.

European stocks also closed higher on Wednesday as renewed optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal as well as encouraging service sector activity data from China helped investors shrug off weak U.S. data on private sector job growth and service sector activity.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 advanced 1.2 percent. The German DAX rallied 1.2 percent, France's CAC 40 index climbed 1.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent.



by WooHoo Ireland


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