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European Shares Seen Up In Cautious Trade


European stocks may open higher on Thursday after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders suggested Canada, Mexico and other countries may be carved out from forthcoming tariffs for national security reasons, helping ease worries about President Trump's protectionist policies.

Overnight, U.S. stocks fluctuated before ending mixed as ADP jobs data and the Fed's Beige Book report painted a positive picture of the world's largest economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial average slid 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 edged down marginally while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3 percent.

Asian stocks are trading mostly higher after the release of robust trade data from China and solid GDP figures from Japan.

China's exports grew at a faster-than-expected pace in February, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

China's exports jumped 44.5 percent year-over-year in February in dollar terms, much faster than the 11.0 percent rise economists had forecast.

Imports climbed 6.3 percent from a year ago, slower than the expected growth of 8.0 percent. The trade surplus totaled $33.74 billion, in contrast to the expected deficit of $5.7 billion.

Japan's GDP grew a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2017, the Cabinet Office said in Thursday's revision. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent after last month's preliminary reading suggested a gain of 0.1 percent.

Closer home, survey data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed earlier today that U.K. house prices stabilized in February and property coming to the market for sale declined. The net house price balance fell to zero in February.

Another report on jobs compiled by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and IHS Markit showed that permanent job placements in the U.K. grew at a slower pace in February, as temporary billings growth accelerated.

Investors now await the outcome of monetary policy meetings from the ECB and Bank of Japan for further direction. Meanwhile, the U.S. jobs report for February, to be released Friday, is expected to show a gain of 200,000 jobs.

The dollar saw some relief while oil pared some losses after falling more than 2 percent overnight.

European markets erased earlier losses to end higher on Wednesday. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.4 percent.

The German DAX rallied 1.1 percent, France's CAC 40 index rose 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.2 percent.

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