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European Shares Seen Opening Mixed

stockmarkets dec21 11oct19 lt

European stocks look set to open mostly higher on Friday, although U.K. markets may drift lower as the pound surged on Brexit optimism.

Trade optimism prevails after U.S. President Donald Trump hinted at progress in his high-stakes trade battle with China, saying talks with Beijing's envoy had gone well.

Trump also said he plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at The White House as part of high-level U.S.-China trade talks, helping raise hopes that an escalation in the trade war might be averted.

The U.S. is scheduled to increase duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods from 25 percent to 30 percent on October 15 if talks fail to produce progress.

Asian markets edged higher on trade optimism, with a Bloomberg report saying that the U.S. is planning to enter into a currency agreement with China.

Adding to the positive sentiment, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told Chinese state-run media Xinhua the Chinese delegation has come to the talks with "great sincerity and is willing to make serious exchanges with the U.S. on issues of common concern to prevent further escalation and spread of friction."

Oil prices climbed on comments about possible supply cuts from the head of OPEC while gold inched lower in reaction to Trump's positive remarks on trade.

The British pound touched the highest level in two weeks against the U.S. dollar after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish leader Leo Varadkar agreed they could see a pathway to a possible deal on Brexit.

In economic releases, Destatis is scheduled to issue Germany's final consumer price data later in the session. Inflation is seen at 1.2 percent in September, unchanged from flash estimate. This was the lowest rate since February 2018.

Overnight, the three major U.S. averages rose around 0.6 percent as Apple's shares jumped and trade optimism prevailed.

European markets also rose on Thursday. The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.7 percent. The German DAX gained 0.6 percent, France's CAC 40 index surged 1.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent.

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