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European Shares Seen Up Ahead Of Central Bank Meetings


European stocks are likely to open a tad higher on Monday as investors look to the Fed, BoJ and BoE meetings due this week.

Everyone is waiting to see if central banks around the world would shift to a more dovish stance against a backdrop of slowing growth as trade tensions mount.

The Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision is due on Wednesday. Most economists expect the Fed to leave interest rates unchanged, although the central bank is expected to provide indications that it is considering lowering rates in the near future.

Markets will also remain focused on geopolitical tensions. Hong Kong's political crisis has entered its second week, after historic crowds shut down central Hong Kong for a second straight Sunday, calling on the city's Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, to step aside.

Oil prices gained ground after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will take all actions necessary to guarantee safe navigation in the Middle East, as tensions mounted following attacks on tankers last week.

"We don't want war. We've done what we can to deter this," Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News Sunday, adding: "The Iranians should understand very clearly that we will continue to take actions that deter Iran from engaging in this kind of behaviour."

The dollar hovered near a two-week high as strong U.S. retail sales data tempered some of the fears about a sharp downturn in the world's largest economy. Gold held steady after retreating from a 14-month high in the previous session.

On the data front, the British Chambers of Commerce downgraded its growth outlook for next year as unwinding of historically-high inventory levels amid weak business investment weigh on economic activity.

In the latest economic forecast, released today, the growth projection for 2020 was lowered to 1 percent from 1.3 percent and that for 2021 to 1.2 percent from 1.4 percent.

Separately, data from property website Rightmove revealed that U.K. house prices rose slightly in June. House prices increased 0.3 percent month-on-month in June but remained flat on a yearly basis.

U.S. stocks fell slightly on Friday after Broadcom warned of chip demand slowdown, adding to concerns about the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute. On the data front, reports on retail sales, industrial production and consumer sentiment painted a mixed picture of the world's largest economy.

The Dow edged down 0.1 percent, the S&P 500 slid 0.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed half a percent.

European markets fell on Friday as tensions heightened between the U.S. and Iran. The pan European Stoxx 600 gave up 0.4 percent.

The German DAX dropped 0.6 percent, France's CAC 40 index eased 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.3 percent.

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