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European Shares May See Flat Opening

stockmarkets jan11 16jun21 lt

European stocks may open on a flat note Wednesday as investors await key central bank decisions due this week for directional cues.

Trading activity may remain subdued in the lead up to the release of the Fed's monetary policy announcement later in the day as well as the central bank's latest economic projections.

The meeting may not result in any changes to monetary policy, but the central bank could signal that it is beginning to think about scaling back its asset purchases.

The Fed may acknowledge the recent increase in inflation, which was highlighted by the Labor Department report showing record annual producer price growth.

Other central banks that will deliver their rate decisions this week include the Swiss National Bank and Norges Bank on Thursday, followed by the Bank of Japan on Friday.

Meanwhile, no one is expecting any major breakthroughs from the Geneva summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden later in the day.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies on the federal budget before a House of Representatives panel on Thursday.

Asian markets fell broadly in cautious trade ahead of the Fed policy outcome and a slew of Chinese data due out later in the day.

Data showed earlier in the day that Japan's exports rose at the fastest pace since 1980 in May, reflecting a rebound in shipments from last year's pandemic-driven plunge.

The country's core machinery orders rose 0.6 percent sequentially in April, falling short of expectations for a 2.7 percent rise.

The dollar held near a one-month high against a basket of currencies and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield hovered around the 1.5 percent mark, while Brent crude prices rose for a fifth consecutive session on signs of falling stockpiles and hopes for a recovery in demand.

Consumer and producer price data from the U.K. are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

U.S. stocks ended lower overnight after separate reports showed Americans slowed their spending in May and producer prices rose at their fastest annual clip in nearly 11 years in the month.

New York manufacturing activity cooled somewhat in June and confidence among homebuilders declined to a 10-month low, while a measure of industrial production grew at a stronger pace than expected in May.

The Dow shed 0.3 percent, the S&P 500 eased 0.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gave up 0.7 percent.

European stocks ended Tuesday's session modestly higher in record territory for the eight day in a row as traders awaited clues from the Fed meeting.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.1 percent. The German DAX, France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 all rose about 0.4 percent.

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