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European Shares Set To Drift Lower At Open


European stocks are likely to open lower on Thursday after the total coronavirus cases in China jumped to about 59,700 with total cases worldwide reaching 60,200 as provincial officials adopted a new methodology for counting infections. It is still unclear whether the jump is due to a revision of prior data or a fresh upsurge.

Asian markets are trading mixed as the new numbers threw more uncertainty about China's ability to contain the outbreak.

Safe-haven assets such as gold, the yen and bonds rose while oil traded flat after sharp gains overnight.

The winter 2020 economic forecast from the European Commission is due later today, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, trading may be impacted by reaction to any coronavirus news as well as the release of reports on consumer price inflation and weekly jobless claims.

U.S. stocks rose notably overnight, with all three indexes rising between 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent to hit fresh record highs, as coronavirus worries continued to ease and Fed Chair Jerome Powell once again highlighted the resilience of the U.S. economy.

European markets also rose on Wednesday as the slowdown in the rate of growth in new coronavirus infections led to optimism the outbreak is being contained.

The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.6 percent. The German DAX climbed 0.9 percent, France's CAC 40 index rose 0.8 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added half a percent.

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