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European Shares Set To Open Lower As Trade Worries Re-emerge


European stocks may drift lower on Wednesday as investors digest conflicting reports on U.S.-China trade talks and look ahead to the Fed's decision on interest rates.

There are signs of fault lines emerging in ongoing U.S.-China trade talks, with a Bloomberg report suggesting that China is pushing back against U.S. demands in trade negotiations.

On the contrary, a Trump administration official said that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would return to China next week for another round of trade talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

The dollar firmed up ahead of the Fed's interest-rate decision later today, with markets looking for any change in tone in the policy statement.

Gold prices slipped on dollar strength while oil retreated from a four-month high as the province of Alberta further relaxed the production cap it imposed in January.

Brexit headlines maintained pressure on the pound ahead of a Brussels summit on Thursday. It is expected that British Prime Minister Theresa May will write to EU President Donald Tusk with a plan for delaying Brexit beyond March 29.

The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said that EU member states should prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Asian stocks remain broadly lower, though the downside remained limited on expectations the Fed will stick to a dovish stance.

Overnight, U.S. stocks gave up earlier gains to end narrowly mixed.

European markets rose on Tuesday despite Brexit-related uncertainty and caution ahead of key central bank meetings.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.6 percent. The German DAX climbed 1.1 percent, France's CAC 40 index rose 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent.

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