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European Shares Set To Open On Steady Note

us premarket 010219 12feb20 lt

European stocks are likely to open higher on Wednesday as anxiety ebbed over the spread of coronavirus.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping told him the deadly virus will be gone by April as temperatures begin rising.

The new outbreak is hitting a peak and may be over by April, Zhong Nanshan, an 83-year-old epidemiologist who won fame for combating the SARS epidemic in 2003, said in an interview with Reuters.

The optimism comes as the death toll from the epidemic climbed past 1,100 and the World Health Organization warned of a "very grave threat for the rest of the world".

Asian markets remain mostly higher and the dollar retreated on improved risk appetite while gold prices traded flat. Oil prices rose for a second day running amid preliminary signs that new coronavirus cases are slowing in China.

In economic releases, Eurostat publishes euro area industrial production data for December later today. Output is forecast to fall 1.6 percent sequentially following a 0.2 percent rise in November.

Across the Atlantic, Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify before the Senate Banking Committee, although his prepared remarks are likely to mirror Tuesday's testimony.

U.S. stocks edged up slightly overnight after a top Chinese health adviser said the coronavirus outbreak may be peaking and infections may be over by April.

Recent strong earnings announcements and economic data as well as fairly upbeat comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell about the U.S. economic outlook also offered some support.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended flat with a negative bias while the S&P 500 inched up 0.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1 percent to reach fresh record closing highs.

European markets advanced on Tuesday after reports of an apparent slowdown in the rate of coronavirus infection.

The pan European Stoxx 600 added 0.9 percent. The German DAX surged 1 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both gained about 0.7 percent.

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