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European Shares Seen Lower After Tillerson's Dismissal

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European stocks look set to open lower on Wednesday amid increased trade tensions in view of reports that the U.S. is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after a series of public rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran and also shut down Broadcom's proposed buyout of Qualcomm, suggesting that the White House may take a harder line on trade.

Asian stocks are broadly lower after an overnight slide in U.S. equities on concerns about the Trump administration's unilateral approach to trade, national security and foreign affairs. Better-than-expected Chinese industrial output data and core machine order figures from Japan failed to lift investor sentiment.

Gold held steady and the dollar lost ground while oil prices rose slightly in Asian trade after two days of declines.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.7 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 1 percent to snap a seven-day winning streak while the S&P 500 declined 0.6 percent.

European markets fell sharply on Tuesday as both the euro and pound strengthened against the dollar after the release of tame U.S. inflation data.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index gave up 1 percent. The German DAX tumbled 1.6 percent, France's CAC 40 index shed 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 1.1 percent.

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