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European Shares To Open On Cautious Note Amid Brexit Concerns


European stocks may lack clear direction on Wednesday as disappointing core machinery orders data from Japan as well as a crushing parliamentary defeat for British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan reignited worries about global growth.

Japan's core machine orders, considered a leading indicator of capital expenditure, held largely unchanged month-on-month in November, well below forecasts for an increase of 3.0 percent and down sharply from 7.6 percent in October.

The British pound edged down after MPs voted to reject U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal by 230 votes, leaving a range of outcomes, including no deal open.

The focus now shifts to a confidence vote on May's government by lawmakers, due later in the day.

While European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker urged London to "clarify its intentions as soon as possible", May promised cross-party talks to try and salvage a workable Brexit deal before returning with a new proposal next Monday.

Asian stocks are trading mixed, the dollar weakened and safe-haven assets such as the yen and gold held firm, while oil prices dipped after surging more than 3 percent on Tuesday, supported by China's promise of more stimulus, supply cuts by OPEC and some non-OPEC members including Russia, and a drop in U.S. rig counts.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended higher, with technology and internet companies leading the surge after a German court dismissed Qualcomm's patent lawsuit against Apple and Netflix revealed the biggest increase in subscription prices since launching its service twelve years ago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 rallied 1.1 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped as much as 1.7 percent.

European markets eked out modest gains on Tuesday after China pledged to cut taxes and stimulate growth.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.4 percent. The German DAX inched up 0.3 percent, France's CAC 40 index gained half a percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.6 percent.

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