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European Shares Set To Follow Wall Street Higher


European stocks may open higher Wednesday on optimism over U.S.-China trade talks. Investors are pinning hopes that a positive outcome from the discussions between U.S. and Chinese officials would help the two nations strike a long-term trade deal and result in economic revival in China.

Telecom stocks could be in focus after the Nikkei Asian Review reported that
Apple Inc. is cutting its current production plan for new iPhones by about 10 percent for the next three months. The move indicates that the smartphone maker is expecting a further hit this year.

Asian markets remain broadly higher, with benchmark indexes in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea climbing 1-2 percent.

Gold prices fell on improved risk appetite and the dollar edged lower while crude climbed above US$50 a barrel for the first time this year on reports about output reductions by oil producers.

In his first Oval Office address to the nation, U.S. President Donald Trump stood by his demand that Democrats provide $5.7 billion in funding for his controversial border wall in order to end the partial government shutdown.

Trump described the situation on the U.S. border with Mexico as a "crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul" and argued construction of his proposed wall is "absolutely critical" to border security.

The national address by the president comes as an impasse over funding for the wall has led to a government shutdown that is now into its third week.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose for a third straight session, marking the longest winning streak for major indexes since late November, after Washington and Beijing extended their trade negotiations for a third day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged around 1.1 percent, while the S&P 500 added 1 percent.

European stocks hit a three-week high on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "talks with China are going very well!"

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.9 percent. The German DAX rose half a percent, France's CAC 40 index rallied 1.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.7 percent.

Trading in the U.S. later in the day may be impacted by reaction to remarks by several Federal Reserve officials as well as the release of the minutes of the Fed's latest monetary policy meeting.

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