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European Shares To Open Higher Despite Slumping Dollar


European stocks look set to open slightly higher on Friday even as the dollar index hit its lowest level since Sept. 2017 on the back of tepid producer price data and signs that the European Central Bank may wind down its 2.55 trillion euro ($3.07 trillion) bond purchase scheme this year.

Safe-haven assets such as gold and the yen firmed up ahead of earnings from the big U.S. banks and consumer inflation data due later in the day, while oil prices eased a little bit after hitting their highest levels since December 2014 in the previous session.

Asian stocks are trading broadly higher even as data showed China's exports and imports growth slowed in December in a sign of weaker global and domestic demand.

December exports grew an annual 10.9 percent, beating forecasts but down from a robust 12.3 percent gain in November. Imports grew an even slower pace of 4.5 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose sharply to close at fresh record highs and Treasury yields fell after China dismissed media reports that officials have recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. debt.

Energy stocks led the surge after the price of oil touched its highest level since 2014. The Dow and the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed around 0.8 percent while the S&P 500 added 0.7 percent.

European stocks ended Thursday's session lower, hit by a stronger euro after minutes from the ECB's mid-December policy meeting indicated the central bank could shift away from its ultra-loose monetary policy efforts sooner than investors had expected.

Rising bond yields and some disappointing corporate earnings also weighed on markets. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index eased 0.3 percent.

The German DAX declined 0.6 percent and France's CAC 40 index slid 0.3 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent.

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