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European Shares Seen Lower On China Virus Fears

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European stocks are likely to open lower on Tuesday as investors weigh the economic impact of a Chinese disease outbreak.

The downside, however, may remain limited after the U.S. and France reached a truce in their dispute over French moves to tax American tech companies.

Health authorities around the world stepped up screening and the World Health Organization called a meeting on Wednesday to consider declaring an international health emergency after China reported a fourth death from a new coronavirus.

Airline and travel stocks may come under selling pressure on fears that the
disease might spread faster during the Lunar New Year holiday, the Chinese-speaking world's busiest travel season.

Meanwhile, Japan's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a two-day policy review and nudged up its growth forecasts.

The European Central Bank (ECB) will hold its meeting on Thursday, where it is expected to launch a comprehensive review of central bank strategy, including the ECB's inflation target.

The labor market statistics from the U.K. and economic confidence from Germany are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

The dollar pared gains after recent gains and gold held near a two-week high, while oil prices retreated despite news that three rockets fell inside Baghdad's Green Zone which houses government buildings and foreign mission.

U.S. markets were closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

In Europe, stocks finished slightly lower ahead of a gathering of policymakers and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum conference.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged down 0.1 percent. France's CAC 40 index shed 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 eased 0. 3 percent, while the German DAX rose 0.2 percent.

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