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European Shares Likely To Drift Lower On Tariff Worries

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European stocks may open on a tepid note Wednesday after the U.S. said it would maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until the completion of a second phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement.

"If the president gets a Phase 2 in place quickly, he'll consider releasing tariffs as part of Phase 2," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, hours before the signing of a preliminary trade agreement at the White House.

Investors may also react negatively to reports suggesting that the Trump administration is moving closer to a set of rules that would tighten sales of semiconductors to China's Huawei.

Asian markets are trading mixed, gold prices inched higher and the dollar traded flat, while oil prices slipped after snapping a five-session losing streak the previous day.

Inflation figures from the U.K. and annual GDP data from Germany are due later in the session, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, the Federal Reserve is also scheduled to release its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts.

On the earnings front, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth are among the companies due to report their quarterly results before the start of trading.

U.S. stocks fluctuated overnight before closing mixed as investors digested
quarterly results from several big-name financial companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial average edged up 0.1 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 slid around 0.2 percent.

European markets rose on Tuesday as investors looked ahead to the signing of a phase one trade deal by the U.S. and China and took note of a mixed batch of earnings reports from top U.S. banks.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.3 percent. The German DAX finished marginally higher, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both inched up around 0.1 percent.

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