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European Shares Set To Open Higher On Trade Deal Hopes


European stocks are likely to open higher on Thursday following more dovish signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve confirming a cautious stance towards further tightening.

The dollar inched up as the Fed's January meeting minutes showed division among the central bankers with regards to future rates policy.

There was consensus for completing the normalization of the size of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet despite rising global risks and concerns about trade tensions.

The British pound remains under pressure after Fitch warned it could cut U.K.'s sovereign rating due to the economic hit from a potential no-deal Brexit.

The warning came as three MPs quit Britain's governing Conservative Party in protest at its "disastrous" hard line on Brexit.

Asian stocks are trading mostly higher after Reuters said the U.S. and Chinese negotiators have sketched outlines of agreements to end the trade war. Gold hovered near ten-month high while oil held close to 2019 highs.

Overnight, U.S. stocks edged higher as minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting indicated a patient approach to raising interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 rose around 0.2 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched up marginally.

European markets ended solidly higher on Wednesday as hopes for a China-U.S. trade deal continued to build and the U.K. faced more turmoil with the resignation of three government MPs over Brexit.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.7 percent. The German DAX climbed 0.8 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added around 0.7 percent.

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