European Shares Set For Steady Start

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European stocks may open higher on Wednesday, with optimism over the global economy and encouraging quarterly results from U.S. companies likely to support underpin sentiment.

Asian markets were trading mixed as COVID-19 continued its rampage through Asia, with South Korea and Thailand reporting record infections and Australia's two largest states reporting sharp increases in new virus cases.

In Japan, the government's top COVID-19 advisor said new cases in Tokyo could hit a record in early August, before the end of the Olympics.

Elsewhere, a White House official and a staff member for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated.

Offering some respite for investors worried about a patch economic recovery, Japan's exports in June beat forecasts and marked the fourth straight month of growth, reflecting strong demand in the U.S. and China.

In the commodities space, gold prices slipped on a buoyant dollar and a rebound in U.S. Treasury yields. Oil retreated after industry data showed an unexpected build-up in U.S. oil inventories last week.

It's a quiet day on the economic front, with public sector finance data from the U.K. due out later in the session.

U.S. stocks rose sharply overnight, with renewed optimism over economic recovery and a string of upbeat earnings reports helping underpin sentiment after Monday's steep selloff.

The Dow and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index climbed around 1.6 percent each while the S&P 500 rallied 1.5 percent.

European stocks also rose on Tuesday after their worst day in seven months on mounting worries about the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus in several countries.

The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced half a percent. The German DAX rose 0.6 percent, France's CAC 40 index gained 0.8 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added half a percent.

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