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European Shares Seen Opening Flat Ahead Of ECB Meeting


European stocks may open largely unchanged on Thursday after U.S. stocks fluctuated before ending higher overnight, reflecting positive reaction to quarterly results from the likes of IBM, United Technologies and Procter & Gamble.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched up 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.2 percent.

Asian stocks remain broadly higher, although poor manufacturing data from Japan weighed on the Nikkei index.

South Korea's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged today, but cut its growth forecasts for 2019 amid signs of a global slowdown and heightening economic uncertainties over trade tensions.

The European Central Bank reviews its monetary policy today, with economists expecting no change in rates.

The central bank may acknowledge a sharp slowdown in growth and signal that it would tread carefully in tightening monetary policy.

U.S.-China trade tensions linger, with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan saying that "shifting blame for one's own problems onto others will not resolve the problems."

Wang added that no matter the uncertainties China faces in 2019, there is one certainty - the country's development will be sustainable.

Gold prices rose on a weaker dollar amid political uncertainty in the United States and worries about weakening global economic growth. Oil prices extended their slide from Wednesday.

European markets ended Wednesday's session in the red amid concerns about global growth, the U.S. government shutdown and uncertainty over Brexit as well as U.S.-China trade talks.

In an interview with CNN, a top economic adviser to President Donald Trump said that growth in the first quarter could end up with a number close to zero due to the partial government shutdown.

The pan European Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.1 percent. The German DAX and France's CAC 40 index slid around 0.2 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.9 percent.

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