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European Shares Seen Opening On Flat Note

stockmarkets dec31 18feb21 lt

European stocks may open on a flat note Thursday as investors ponder the prospects for additional fiscal stimulus spending and support from central banks.

Asian markets remain broadly lower as vaccine optimism faded amid doubts over whether the jabs can work against the new and more infectious variants of Covid-19.

Gold prices clawed back from a 2-1/2-month low marked in the previous session, as U.S. Treasury yields pulled back from a one-year high.

The dollar held ground on economic optimism while Bitcoin climbed past the $52,000 mark despite warnings over its value.

Brent oil blew past $65 a barrel as a cold blast that's taken out almost 40 percent of U.S. crude production morphed into a global supply shock.

In economic releases, Eurozone consumer confidence figures for February and the ECB monetary policy meeting minutes are due out later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, trading may be impacted by another batch of data, including reports on initial jobless claims, housing starts, import and export prices and Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mixed as upbeat data on retail sales, industrial production and producer prices added to inflation concerns and dented prospects of more stimulus.

Meanwhile, minutes from the January Fed meeting signaled the central bank is likely to leave policy unchanged for the foreseeable future.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent to a new record closing high, while the S&P 500 finished marginally lower and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index gave up 0.6 percent.

European markets closed lower on Wednesday as investors kept a wary eye on rising Treasury yields.

The pan European Stoxx 600 shed 0.7 percent. The German DAX tumbled 1.1 percent, France's CAC 40 index dipped 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 percent.

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