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European Shares Seen Lower Amid Geopolitical Tensions


European stocks look set to open lower on Thursday as the dollar continued to trade weak despite the Fed minutes carrying a hawkish tinge.

Asian stocks are trading mostly lower as tensions over the conflict in Syria flared and minutes of the March 20-21 Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed participants saw a slightly faster pace of tightening.

Traders also await cues from the U.S. earnings season that kicks off in earnest with reports from four big banks on Friday.

The dollar sagged against the Japanese yen and gold prices eased from multi-week highs while oil held steady on concerns of a military escalation in Syria.

Overnight, U.S. stocks pulled back amid geopolitical concerns after President Donald Trump warned Russia to "get ready" for missiles being launched at Syria.

On the data front, U.S. consumer inflation rose at the fastest annual pace in 12 months in March, while the minutes of the Federal Reserve's March monetary policy meeting sparked worries about a more hawkish view on interest rate increases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.9 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 declined 0.6 percent.

European markets ended Wednesday's session firmly in the red as tensions over the conflict in Syria flared, with Russia threatening to shoot down any U.S. missiles fired at neighboring Syria if the U.S. decides to strike Syrian bases in response to a chemical attack over the weekend.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.6 percent. The German DAX dropped 0.8 percent, France's CAC 40 index declined 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 0.1 percent.

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