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European Shares Seen Lower At Open

stockmarkets jan18 02sep21 lt

European stocks may drift lower at open on Thursday as investors assess the blow to the global economy from the continuing spread of new coronavirus variants.

Asian markets traded mixed on worries about China's faltering economic recovery, with reports suggesting that the healthcare sector could be Beijing's next regulatory target.

Chinese stocks traded higher after the People's Bank of China said it would provide CNY300 billion ($46.41 billion) of low-cost funding to support small- and medium-sized firms.

The dollar hovered around multi-week lows and U.S. 10-year Treasury yields eased back to 1.30 percent, while gold held steady ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls data due Friday that is crucial to the Federal Reserve's tapering plan.

Oil prices fell in Asian trade in the wake of a relatively harmonious OPEC+ decision to gradually return supply to the market at a time when coronavirus cases around the world are surging.

In economic releases, Eurostat releases euro area producer price data for July later in the day. Economists expect the PPI to rise 11 percent annually after climbing 10.2 percent in June.

Across the Atlantic, reports on weekly jobless claims, the U.S. trade deficit and factory orders may attract attention.

U.S. stocks ended narrowly mixed overnight as disappointing private payrolls data supported the case for dovish monetary policy. U.S. factory activity grew in August, but still battled logistics and price woes, another report showed.

The Dow slipped 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 ended flat, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.3 percent to hit a new record closing high.

European stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday as hopes for more stimulus offset signs of acceleration in euro zone inflation.

The pan European Stoxx 600 rose half a percent. The German DAX slipped marginally, while France's CAC 40 index rallied 1.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent.

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