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European Shares To Open Lower As Trade Worries Weigh

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European stocks are likely to open lower on Thursday as investors fret over U.S.-China trade tensions.

The United States and China appear to be bracing for a prolonged standoff over trade after the U.S. squeezed Chinese companies by threatening to shut off supplies of those key components.

Hopes are now being placed on the Xi-Trump meeting on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Japan at the end of June.

Asian stocks slipped into the red as investors fret about the adverse effects of trade tensions on global economic growth.

A report from the South China Morning Post said China is re-examining the entire bilateral economic relationship between the U.S. and China.

Separately, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC's Ylan Mui the U.S. has no plans to go to Beijing to resume trade negotiations.

China's yuan held steady as authorities try to cap the currency's decline amid the Sino-U.S. trade conflict. The People's Bank of China set its daily fixing for the currency at a stronger-than-expected level for a fourth straight day.

The dollar index pushed higher while the British pound fell amidst speculation British Prime Minister Theresa May could be forced out of office over coming days.

Oil prices extended losses after suffering their biggest single session fall in three weeks on Wednesday as data from Energy Information Administration showed a sharp jump in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.

Elections to the European Parliament, the EU's legislature, will take place between May 23rd and 26th as euroskeptic far-right parties attempt to build a coalition to try to remake the EU.

Revised quarterly national accounts, flash purchasing managers' survey results and Ifo business confidence are due from Germany later today, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

At 7.30 am ET, the European Central Bank releases accounts of the monetary policy meeting of the Governing Council held on April 9 and 10.

U.S. stocks fell modestly overnight amid continued escalation in trade tensions and as a U.S. federal judge ruled that Qualcomm illegally suppressed competition for cellphone chips.

Meanwhile, minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting showed that the central bank is in no rush to alter the path of interest rates amid an environment of moderate U.S. economic growth and muted inflation pressures.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.4 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed half a percent and the S&P 500 eased 0.3 percent.

European markets ended mixed on Wednesday on mounting worries about a long drawn U.S.-China trade war and growing uncertainty about Brexit.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended flat with a negative bias. The German DAX rose 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent while France's CAC 40 index edged down 0.1 percent.

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