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European Shares Set To Open On Lackluster Note

stockmarkets jan23 17may21 lt

European stocks are seen opening on a cautious note Monday as investors react to mixed economic data from China and await the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting, due on Wednesday, for further insight into the inner thoughts of the U.S. central bank.

China's industrial output grew 9.8 percent in April from a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said - matching expectations after a 14.1 percent surge in March.

Retail sales advanced an annual 17.7 percent, missing forecasts for 24.9 percent and down sharply from 34.2 percent a month earlier.

Fixed asset investment spiked an annual 19.9 percent, beating forecasts for 19.0 percent and down from 25.6 percent in the previous month.

The jobless rate was 5.1 percent in April, down from 5.3 percent in the previous month while house prices were up 4.8 percent in April, accelerating from 4.6 percent a month earlier.

Asian markets were mixed, with virus woes, reflation fears and geopolitical risks keeping underlying sentiment cautious.

Japan extended the state of emergency to three more prefectures as doubts over Olympics grow. A rise in infections has forced Taiwan to order stricter social distancing measures for the capital and surrounding areas.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Friday warned of a worrisome rise in U.S. inflation expectations, though Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said that the U.S. central bank's policy is currently in a good place.

Other Fed officials, including Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, are due to speak this week.

Gold prices rose to a three-month high in Asian trade, as a weaker dollar and a dip in Treasury yields boosted the precious metal's safe-haven appeal. Oil held steady near $65 a barrel after posting a third weekly gain.

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday as commodity prices dropped and Treasury yields continued to ease, helping investors shrug off weaker-than-expected industrial production, consumer sentiment and retail sales figures.

The Dow climbed 1.1 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.3 percent and the S&P 500 rallied 1.5 percent.

European markets advanced on Friday after dovish comments from Federal Reserve members.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 1.2 percent. The German DAX rose 1.4 percent, France's CAC 40 index gained 1.5 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 1.2 percent.

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