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European Shares Seen Mostly Higher On Stimulus Hopes

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European stocks look set to open mostly higher on Monday as investors hope for more central bank stimulus to support growth in the world's major economies.

Asian markets edged higher after Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his soft-repeated pledge that the Federal Reserve will "act as appropriate" to sustain the U.S. economic expansion.

Broader stock market gains remain tempered after data showed Chinese exports unexpectedly fell in August amid escalating trade dispute with the U.S. administration.

In dollar terms, exports decreased 1 percent on a yearly basis in August, confounding expectations for an increase of 2.1 percent.

At the same time, imports declined 5.6 percent but slower than the expected fall of 6.3 percent.

The European Central Bank meets on Thursday with markets expecting a rate cut along with some new stimulus package.

The U.S. dollar was on the defensive as U.S. yields came off two-week highs after the release of soft U.S. data.

Gold inched up on hopes of economic stimulus while oil prices rose after a Saudi official said there would be no change in Saudi Arabia's OPEC policy.

The pound held steady ahead of a parliamentary vote today on whether to hold an early election.

Monthly GDP estimate from the U.K. and foreign trade data from Germany are due later in the session, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday as a Chinese stimulus plan helped offset underwhelming jobs data hinting at a slowing economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.1 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index slid 0.2 percent.

European markets eked out modest gains on Friday as EU political risks faded and investors cheered upbeat signals on U.S.-China trade talks.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.3 percent. The German DAX rose half a percent, while both France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 inched up around 0.2 percent.

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