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European Shares Seen Opening Largely Unchanged

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European stocks may open largely unchanged on Monday as investors await December quarter earnings.

Asian shares are broadly higher in thin holiday trade, with Japanese markets closed for the Coming of Age Day holiday.

Treasuries dropped, the dollar held steady above a recent 3-1/2-month low against a basket of currencies and oil firmed up after a drop in the U.S. rig count, while gold hovered below a 3-1/2-month peak hit last week on expectations of further U.S. rate hikes this year.

Economic confidence and retail trade data from euro area as well as German factory orders figures are slated to be released later in the day, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, the economic calendar for this week starts on a relatively quiet note, although reports on retail sales and producer and consumer prices are likely to attract attention in the latter part of the week.

Financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are due to report their quarterly results on Friday as the earnings season gets underway.

U.S. stocks closed at record highs on Friday as optimism about tax reform helped investors shrug off a disappointing batch of readings on non-farm employment and service sector growth. The Dow rose 0.9 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 0.8 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 0.7 percent.

European markets extended gains from the previous session on Friday as investors digested tepid Eurozone inflation data and weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.9 percent. The German DAX rallied 1.2 percent, France's CAC 40 index gained 1.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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