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European Shares Seen Higher As Yields Ease

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European stocks may open higher on Thursday as U.S. Treasury yields eased after rallying initially on upbeat consumer confidence data, progress on vaccinations and strong policy support.

Asian markets advanced after U.S. President Joe Biden delivered his first joint address to Congress, outlining ambitious plans to build America as the nation gets the pandemic under control.

Gold gained ground while the dollar held near nine-week lows after the Fed squashed speculation about an early tapering of asset buying. Oil extended overnight gains after bullish forecasts on recovering demand this summer.

In economic releases, consumer prices and unemployment data from Germany as well as economic confidence survey results from the euro area are due later in the session, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, traders will likely keep an eye on the preliminary reading on first quarter GDP as well as reports on weekly jobless claims and pending home sales.

Earnings news is likely to attract attention, with Apple and Facebook delivering soaring profits that essentially doubled over the previous year.

EBay's earnings outlook for the current quarter missed analysts' estimates, while Ford lowered the top end of its full-year guidance.

U.S. stocks ended lower overnight as the Fed left interest rates and asset purchases unchanged while pledging to keep policy accommodative for some time, despite rising inflation.

Officials strengthened their assessment of the economy, citing progress on vaccinations and strong policy support.

Traders also reacted to the latest earnings news from several big-name companies, including Alphabet, Visa, Microsoft and Boeing.

The Dow slid half a percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 edged down marginally.

European stocks eked out modest gains on Wednesday as investors cheered a batch of strong earnings.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended flat with a positive bias. The German DAX and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both rose around 0.3 percent while France's CAC 40 index added half a percent.

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