European Shares Set For Lackluster Open

European stocks are likely to open on a flat note Thursday as a new fiscal stimulus bill continues to slowly work its way through the U.S. Congress.

Asian stocks held at record highs amid thin volumes, with markets in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan closed for holidays.

U.S.-China tensions remain on investors’ radar after reports emerged that the Biden’s administration is looking at adding “new targeted restrictions” on certain sensitive technology exports to China in cooperation with allies.

It was also reported that the U.S. will not move to lift Chinese trade tariffs imposed by the Trump administration before it has conducted “intense consultation and review” with allies.

The dollar attempted a rebound from a two-week low hit in the previous session after a benign reading on U.S. inflation and a dovish Federal Reserve outlook. Oil and gold prices fell amid the dollar’s rebound.

In economic releases, the European Commission will publish its latest set of economic forecasts later today.

Across the Atlantic, trading may be impacted by reaction to the Labor Department’s report on weekly jobless claims, with claims expected to show a continued decrease.

Overnight, U.S. stocks hit record intraday highs before ending on a mixed note as investors cheered upbeat earnings news and President Joe Biden signaled support for keeping income thresholds for $1,400 stimulus checks.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appeared to express support for more stimulus, saying maintaining “patiently accommodative monetary policy” will be important to returning to a strong labor market and more needs to be done.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 finished marginally lower and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.3 percent.

European stocks drifted lower on Wednesday as caution crept in after recent strong gains. The pan European Stoxx 600 eased 0.2 percent.

The German DAX dropped 0.6 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gave up 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 0.1 percent.

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