European Shares May See Soft Opening

European stocks are seen opening a tad lower on Thursday despite stabilizing bond yields and sanguine comments from the U.S. Fed.

After an auction of five-year Treasury notes saw average demand, investors now await the auction of seven-year debt for further direction.

The dollar hit a fresh four-month high against the euro after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressed their confidence in the U.S. recovery during a second day of testimony to Congress.

Powell said on Wednesday the most likely case is 2021 will be “a very, very strong year.” Yellen told Senate lawmakers she was open to banks buying back stock and paying dividends.

Gold traded flat on dollar strength while oil fell nearly 2 percent in Asian trade after posting sharp gains overnight on concerns about possible supply disruptions.

Asian markets gave up early gains in volatile trade amid a sell-off in Chinese technology stocks due to concerns they will be de-listed from U.S.

Worries about a worldwide semiconductor chip shortage, concerns about extended economic lockdowns in Europe and a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Japan also remained top of mind for investors.

Tokyo confirmed 420 new infections on Wednesday, the largest daily figure in March.

Earlier in the day, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that North Korea had launched unidentified projectiles toward the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

U.S. stocks ended lower overnight as optimism around the economic recovery triggered a rotation out of technology stocks.

Treasury yields continued to pull back as Powell and Yellen wrapped up two days of hearings in front of Congress.

The Dow edged down marginally and the S&P 500 shed 0.6 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index lost as much as 2 percent.

European markets ended mixed on Wednesday as spikes in virus infections and fresh lockdown measures in several countries rendered the mood cautious. The pan European Stoxx 600 ended flat with a positive bias.

The German DAX dipped 0.4 percent while France’s CAC 40 index edged up marginally and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent.

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