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European Shares Set To Follow Asian Peers Higher

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European stocks may open higher on Monday amid signs that Covid-19 cases are reaching a peak in Europe, with France and Italy recording their lowest death toll in one and two weeks respectively.

In addition, New York, a U.S. hotspot for the pandemic, reported its first decline in the number of daily coronavirus-related deaths as well as hospitalizations on Sunday.

While the U.S. surgeon general asked Americans to brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President
Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence tried to strike more optimistic tones, suggesting that hard weeks ahead could mean beginning to turn a corner.

Trump described the dip in the number of new infections and deaths in New York as a "good sign", and said he saw "light at the end of the tunnel."

Total U.S. deaths approached 10,000 - more than three times the number killed in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.

Asian markets showed signs of stability and gold rose on concerns about heavy damage to the global economy, while oil prices tumbled after a scheduled meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies was delayed.

The British pound fell against the dollar and euro after Prime Minister was admitted to hospital following persistent coronavirus symptoms.

In economic news, the U.K. consumer confidence index fell to -34 from -9 seen in its regular survey for March as measures taken to curb the spread of coronavirus weighed on households' economic expectations and purchase decisions, market research group GfK said. That marks its biggest fall since records began in January 1974.

Factory orders data from Germany and investor confidence figures from euro area are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

U.S. stocks fell sharply on Friday after data showed the country lost as much as
701,000 jobs in March, marking the first decline in job creation in a decade. The jobless rate surged up to 4.4 percent from 3.5 percent in February.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 declined around 1.5 percent each.

European markets fell on Friday as a sharp contraction in euro zone business activity and alarming U.S. jobs data fueled fears about an imminent deep recession.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped 1 percent. The German DAX slipped half a percent, France's CAC 40 index gave up 1.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 1.2 percent.

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