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European Shares Seen Opening Little Changed

stockmarkets aug17 17sep19 lt

European stocks look set to open on a subdued note Tuesday as investors keep an eye on oil price movements and await key central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan.

While the Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates by a quarter point in response to slowing global economic growth and muted inflation, the Bank of Japan is likely to leave its monetary policy unchanged.

The Swiss National Bank and the Bank of England will also announce their monetary policy decisions this week.

Asian stocks held mostly steady, even as Chinese shares fell sharply ahead of the next round of U.S.-China trade talks scheduled to start in Washington on Thursday.

Treasuries extended gains and the dollar found support while oil prices pulled back after climbing as much as 15 percent in the previous session following a devastating attack on Saudi Arabia, the world's most important crude-producing region.

Saudi Arabia said Iranian weapons had been used in the attack on one of its key oil installations, but stopped short of directly blaming Iran and did not call for immediate retaliation.

U.S. President Trump said that Iran appeared to have been responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, but added he would "like to avoid" a military conflict with Tehran.

Saudi Aramco now faces weeks or months before the majority of output is restored at the giant Abqaiq processing plant.

Economic confidence data from Germany is due later in the day, headlining a light day for the European economic news. The economic confidence index is forecast to rise sharply to -3.5 in September from -44.1 in August.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended lower as investors fretted about the impact that higher energy prices could have on the already fragile global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid half a percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 dropped around 0.3 percent each.

European markets fell on Monday, with heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and weak industrial output data out of China weighing on markets.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 0.6 percent. The German DAX shed 0.7 percent, France's CAC 40 index declined 0.9 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 0.6 percent.

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