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European Shares Seen Opening Higher


European stocks look set to open a tad higher on Monday despite disappointing services sector data from China and continued political uncertainty in Spain after large crowds protested in Barcelona on Sunday against plans by separatist leaders to declare Catalonia independent.

Asian shares are trading mostly higher, with Chinese markets leading the surge as trading resumed after the week-long "Golden Week" holiday. Trading volumes remain thin across the region amid holidays in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

China's private sector expanded at the weakest pace in three months in September, survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The Caixin composite output index fell to 51.4 in September from 52.4 in August, driven by weaker increases in output at both manufacturing and services companies. Activity in the services sector expanded at its slowest levels in almost two years.

The dollar slipped versus the yen as traders look ahead to the FOMC meeting minutes, BoE meeting and ECB President Mario Draghi's speech this week for further direction. Gold prices rose on renewed fears over North Korea while oil held flat after a 2 percent slide on Friday.

Investors remained wary of North Korea launching a long-range missile on Tuesday, the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Korean Workers Party.

The U.S. earnings season for the July-September quarter kicks off this week, with financial giants JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo scheduled to unveil their financial results.

Industrial production data from Germany, investor confidence figures from the euro area and European Central Bank stress test results are due later in the day, headlining a light day for European economic news.

ECB President Mario Draghi and board member Benoit Coeure will participate in Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg, which will be German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's last.

U.S. stocks ended narrowly mixed on Friday after the much-awaited jobs report showed an unexpected decrease in employment in September, reflecting the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. However, wage growth perked up and the jobless rate dropped to 4.2 percent, increasing the odds of a December Fed rate hike.

While the Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.1 percent to reach a fresh record closing high, the Dow and the S&P closed marginally lower.

European markets ended Friday's session on a downbeat note as investors fretted over political risks in Spain and the U.K. and digested the mixed reading on the U.S. labor market.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index and France's CAC 40 index dropped around 0.4 percent each and the German DAX slid 0.1 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent.

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