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European Shares Seen Lower On Trump Probe Reports

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European stocks are seen opening lower on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signaled one additional rate hike this year and a new report claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller for possible obstruction of justice.

Investigators are also looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, the Washington Post reported.

The Bank of England meets today for monetary policy meeting, but no changes to policy are expected after Prime Minister Theresa May lost the Conservative parliamentary majority at the June 8 general election.

Asian stock markets are trading mostly lower, with Australian and Hong Kong stocks pacing the declines, after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points and unveiled additional plans to tighten monetary policy despite growing concerns over weak inflation.

The U.S. central bank also said it would start "gradual" shrinking of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet this year, provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated.

Safe-haven assets such as the yen and gold rose, tracking a weaker dollar, after U.S. inflation and retail sales figures surprised to the downside and raised more questions about the economy.

Oil prices fell below $45 a barrel on data showing an unexpected rise in U.S gasoline supplies rose for a second week.

In its latest oil market report released on Wednesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that the world's supply of crude oil increased in April by 18 million barrels just when it was expected to decline.

Overnight, U.S stocks ended mixed on worries about the Fed's hawkish tone. The Dow rose 0.2 percent to reach a fresh record closing high, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 slid 0.1 percent.

European markets reversed early gains to end lower on Wednesday, with tumbling oil prices and weakness in the banking sector weighing on markets.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index eased 0.3 percent. The German DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid around 0.4 percent each.

by RTT Staff Writer

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