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European Shares Seen Lower, Brexit In Focus

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European stocks are likely to open lower on Thursday as British Prime Minister
Boris Johnson heads to Brussels for a crunch EU summit to get a Brexit deal breakthrough.

Reuters quoted British culture minister Nicky Morgan as saying late on Wednesday there is a good chance of a deal.

Asian stocks remain lackluster as soft U.S. retail sales data raised fears about the health of the world's largest economy.

U.S. retail sales posted their first decline in seven months during September,
in a potential sign that manufacturing-led weakness could be spreading to the broader economy amid intensifying trade tensions.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are working on nailing down a Phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign in November.

The pound fluctuated as negotiations on a Brexit deal continued. Gold held steady while oil prices slid after industry data showed a larger-than-expected build-up in stocks in the United States.

The Office for National Statistics releases U.K. retail sales data for September later in the session. Sales are forecast to grow 2.9 percent sequentially, faster than the 2.2 percent increase in August.

Across the Atlantic, trading latter today may be impacted by reaction to another batch of economic news, with reports on weekly jobless claims, housing starts and industrial production likely to attract attention.

Ericsson, Honeywell, KeyCorp, Morgan Stanley, Philip Morris and Union Pacific are among the companies due to report their results before the opening bell.

Alcoa Corp shares rallied late Wednesday after the industrial giant announced a multiyear review of its business. CSX Q3 profit topped expectations and Netflix added more paid subscribers than expected in the third quarter, while IBM missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue.

Overnight, U.S. stocks edged lower as weak economic data raised fresh concerns about growth but added to optimism about further interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.1 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 eased 0.2 percent.

European markets finished broadly lower on Wednesday as Brexit talks hanged in the balance and China threatened countermeasures to a U.S. bill supporting protests in Hong Kong.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged down 0.1 percent. The German DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 index slipped 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.6 percent.

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