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European Shares Set To Open Lower Ahead Of Key Events

asian down 13jun19 lt

European stocks may open a tad lower on Thursday as investors monitor oil price movements and fresh developments on trade.

Asian markets remain subdued as traders avoided placing big bets ahead of key events later this month including the Fed's policy review and the G20 meeting.

The U.S. Federal Reserve next gathers on June 18 and 19 in Washington, but a rate cut looks more likely only in July or later. CME's FedWatch tool sees a 20 percent chance of a reduction next week.

The G20 Summit, to be held in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29, brings together leaders from the world's developed and developing countries.

Investors wait to see if a failure by Chinese President Xi to come to the summit would lead to tariffs kicking in on a further $300 billion in Chinese imports.

On the data front, U.K. house prices increased in May as the delay in Brexit helped to curb continuous fall in prices, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported earlier today.

The house price balance rose more-than-expected to -10 percent in May from -22 percent in previous month. The balance was forecast to rise marginally to -21 percent.

The interest rate announcement from the Swiss National Bank, Germany's final inflation data and Eurozone's industrial output data for April are due later in the session.

Euro-area finance ministers will be meeting in Luxembourg today to discuss penalties for Italy over its debt load.

In the U.K., MPs will hold their first ballot for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

The dollar index dipped slightly after a report showed U.S. consumer prices barely rose in May.

The British pound slipped after British lawmakers defeated an attempt led by the opposition Labour Party to try to block a no-deal Brexit.

Gold held steady while U.S. crude futures inched up marginally in Asian deals after ending down about 4 percent at $51.14 a barrel on Wednesday, the lowest settlement price since mid-January, 2019, on data showing another unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Overnight, U.S. stocks fell for a second straight session as oil prices sank and government debt yields fell after the release of soft inflation data. The Dow and the S&P 500 slid around 0.2 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.4 percent.

European markets ended Wednesday's session lower as both ECB President Mario Draghi and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned about the global trade dispute.

Investors also reacted to news that the European Union is closer to taking disciplinary action over Italy's growing debt.

The pan European Stoxx 600 eased 0.3 percent. The German DAX slid 0.3 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 0.4 percent and France's CAC 40 index declined 0.6 percent.

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