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European Shares Set To Drift Lower On Growth Concerns

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European stocks may drift lower at open on Thursday as weaker-than-expected economic data from China and Japan stoked worries that a global slowdown is deepening.

China reported unexpectedly weak data, with industrial output and retail sales growth coming in below estimates.

Japan reported a weaker-than-expected growth rate for the third quarter and the Australian economy shed jobs for the first time in 17 months, bringing growth concerns back in focus.

Asian markets retreated on concerns that the U.S.-China trade war has hurt growth in the world's second-largest economy.

Safe-haven assets such as gold and the yen are on the rise while the dollar traded flat on hawkish signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated in Congressional testimony on Wednesday that the central bank is likely to leave interest rates unchanged in the near future.

He will continue his second day of testimony on Capitol Hill today before the House Budget Committee.

Quarterly national accounts from Germany and euro area are due later in the session, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

Oil prices rose to extend gains from the previous session after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said a global recession is unlikely and that shale oil production in the U.S. will be less than expected next year.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight after the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S.-China trade negotiations have hit a snag over farm purchases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent after a jump in Walt Disney shares and the S&P 500 inched up marginally, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.1 percent.

European markets ended lower on Wednesday as political unrest continued in Hong Kong and Trump threatened more tariff hikes on Chinese imports if a deal was not reached.

The pan European Stoxx 600 eased 0.3 percent. The German DAX dropped 0.4 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both edged down around 0.2 percent.

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